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Rugby league set for kickoff

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

MEN AT WORK—Rugby players in a previous match

The hard-hitting, action packed sport of rugby is set to resume this weekend at Bishop Mackenzie Rugby fields in Lilongwe.

At least five teams are expected to battle it out in the 2019 Lilongwe Rugby League.

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The teams will compete in seven-aside and 12-aside categories during the three-month long season.

The league’s assistant director, Martin Chilakala, said the league is commencing at a good time because Malawi national rugby team is expected to travel to several countries this year.

Chilakala said the league will give an opportunity to national team selectors to recruit players for the national squad.

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“This is the best time to start the league as we will have ample time to identify players for the national team. As a league, we are ready to start the new season and we hope all teams are in good shape,’’ he said.

Chilakala also said the league has introduced a competition called Max Phiri Memorial Trophy, named after former Lilongwe Rugby Club player who tragically lost his life in a car accident in December 2018. Phiri was also the owner of Mlatho Mponela FC.

Area 25’s Hippos Rugby Club are the league’s defending champions. Hippos Captain, Jack Mphande, said his side is expecting tough competition but is ready to defend the title.

“We know that other teams have been training extra hard to take the title away from us. But we have also intensified preparations for the new season,” Mphande said.

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