Sports Azeez Ladipo Concerned Over Black Stallions Preparations Ahead Of Olympics Qualifiers

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The captain of the Black Stallions of Nigeria, Azeez Ladipo has insisted that one week is too short for the Nigeria Rugby team to prepare for the 2016 Olympic qualifiers in Rio.

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The Nigerian Rugby national team are billed to leave Nigeria for South Africa for their one week camp before the games in the weekend of November 14 and 15, 2015 to fight for a spot in next year's games in Brazil.

Nigeria will play the likes of Zimbabwe, Uganda and Zamia in pool B in Johanesburg and the team captain, Ladipo has expressed confidence in the crop of players invited, adding that the blend of foreign and home-based players will grind out result and make Nigeria proud.

"We will camp for about one week before the Tournament next weekend. That's a bit short considering the high altitude in Johannesburg. We will just have to cope with the situation. The foreign lads were in Lagos last weekend and the lads here have an idea how they play and we're able to hang out together. I guess that will help a little bit with blending."

"Well, I think the list is okay. I know most of the guys, they are good players and always improve. I will be playing with some of the lads for the first time."

"That will be Onye Onwukanjo and ThankGod Okafor."

"The rest of the guys have debuted at some point."

"Obviously, they are bringing a lot of understanding and flair into the team. These boys grew up playing rugby and they play a lot more games than we do here. The average Nigerian player back home gets to play about 15 league games and maybe two 7s tournament yearly. But the average british or south African player plays well over 30 matches and maybe 6 to 10 sevens tournament yearly. So that's the difference really. Some of us here are lucky to have started early enough and the disciplined few amongst us understand what it takes to perform at a decent level. We starve ourselves with a lot of things like going to parties, hanging out late."

"And find ourselves working hard in the gym just to meet up with high performance demands."

"Honestly, I think everyone have got a fair chance to qualify given the long notice. We all knew about the qualifiers one year ago but some countries have gone ahead to invest in their team by organising high performance camps and playing in a few 7s tournaments prior to the Olympic Qualifiers whilst some haven't done much. The lads know that if we play for each other, we can beat anyone and that's what we will bank on. Aside playing at an altitude, We will keep doing our best and not give up. Hopefully that will take us to the finals."

"I do not think so. I think they have made the selection based on players who made themselves available for selection."

"They should expect a good outing from us despite difficulties with preparations. We will do our best and hopefully we will go far in the tournament."

"Camp will open on Sunday at Southern Sun Hotel, Johannesburg. We'll fly out on Saturday night"
 
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