Why Kenyan referee was selected for prestigious rugby final in Zimbabwe

Kioko has over 7 years experience at the top level

Kenya Cup match official Duncan Kioko to officiate Nedbank Rugby Challenge Cup final in Zimbabwe, Photo courtesy:  Kenya Rugby Referee Society

Kenya Cup referee Duncan Kioko has been selected to officiate the final of Nedbank Rugby Challenge Cup between Old Hararians and Old Georgians at the Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe on Saturday, March 12.

The finance expert from Machakos County took up officiating in 2015 after playing the game as a scrum at Kitondo Secondary School in Makueni and has gradually risen up the ranks.

Kioko made his officiating debut in Kenya’s top tier league in 2019, the same year that he officiated the second tier KRU Championship final between Western Bulls and Kisumu in Kakamega.

He has also officiated the Great Rift 10s cup final in 2019 and has been part of the officiating team at England’s Rosslyn Park HSBC National 7s as well as a leg of the Ugandan 7s circuit in recent years.

On Saturday, in the curtain-raiser match, Harare Sports Club will take on the national Under-20 High-Performance Squad.

U20 Barthés Cup

The latter is using the competition to prepare for the U20 Barthés Trophy – Rugby Africa’s Under 20 Tournament which will be played in Kenya from April 9 to 17.

Namibia, along with Madagascar, Senegal, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Zambia and hosts Kenya were officially confirmed by the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) as the teams that will compete in the nine-day tournament at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Last year, only three teams participated and they were Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal. Chipu retained the title after taming Madagascar's Junior Makis 21-20 in a pulsating final.

The U/20 Barthes trophy is the Rugby Africa U/20 championship. Teams compete on an annual basis, and the winners of the competition earn the right to represent the African continent at the World Rugby Junior Trophy.

The championship is named after Jean-Luc Barthes, who was the rugby services manager for Rugby Africa. He passed away in 2016. The tournament began in 2007 with Uganda as the host, which saw Namibia winning the title.

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