The Bradford Bulls Foundation and Bradford Bulls Rugby League Club have announced a new partnership with a Nigerian rugby league team in Lagos.

The partnership will see the ‘Lagos Haven’ team rebranded as Lagos Bulls.

The partnership between the Bradford bulls and Lagos Haven marks an opportunity to exchange knowledge, expertise, and resources in order to support the development of rugby in Nigeria and unearth talent among the local players.

Furthermore, this alliance will enable the Bradford Bulls to extend its reach beyond its borders and contribute to the global growth of rugby.

Lagos Haven RLFC was formed in 2019 in collaboration with Whitehaven RLFC and has proved to be a successful partnership, with Lagos one of the few clubs in Nigeria to have winning teams in all age relevant groups for both male and female players.

Lagos Haven RLFC’s chairman, Michael Ogunbiyi, setup Ibudó Academy to develop the game in the country and it now boasts over 2,000 kids in its coaching programmes, either at schools, in the community or at the academy.

The club have become the main pathway for players in Lagos for state selection, as well as for Lagos clubs competing in the leagues.

The Bradford Bulls have a long-standing commitment to nurturing talent and supporting community initiatives, and say this partnership an ideal opportunity to share their experience and offer valuable guidance to Lagos Bulls RLFC.

“Through this collaboration, the Bradford Bulls will provide technical assistance, mentorship programmes and coaching clinics to enhance the skills and knowledge of the Nigerian club’s players and coaching staff.

Additionally, the Bradford Bulls will extend their support to by donating equipment, jerseys and training resources, as they look to foster a sustainable and successful rugby culture in Nigeria.

The partnership will facilitate exchange programs, where players and coaching staff from both clubs will have the opportunity to visit each other’s facilities, learn from one another, and strengthen the bond between their respective rugby communities.

This initiative hopes to not only enhance the players’ technical abilities, but also to create a sense of camaraderie and friendship between the UK and Nigerian rugby communities.

Nigel Wood, chairman of the Bradford Bulls, said “We are delighted to assist and support Nigeria Rugby League on their endeavours to promote the sport in Africa.”

Bolu Fagborun, Corporate Social Responsibility Director at the Bradford Bulls, said: “It’s a great step in bringing awareness to the Nigerian community in both countries and to getting them involved in rugby league and all its benefits on and off the pitch.

“We already have a Nigerian International, Daniel Okoro, here and this can be another major step.

“As someone’s who’s played for and coached Nigeria’s national team, I know that the people in Nigeria are hungry for rugby league.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bolu Fagborun continues to do wonders for Nigerian rugby league.Bolu Fagborun continues to do wonders for Nigerian rugby league. (Image: UGC.)

“But they need more engagement with the sport, so this is a vital step in feeling part of the wider rugby league community.”

Ogunbiyi, who is also Director of Strategy for the Nigeria Rugby League Association, said: “We are immensely grateful for the support and partnership with Bradford Bulls RLFC and the Bulls Foundation.

“This collaboration presents a fantastic opportunity for our club and the broader Nigerian rugby landscape.

“We are excited to learn from Bulls and leverage their expertise to unlock our players’ full potential.

We are also excited to commence a new chapter for Lagos Haven RLFC.

“We believe this partnership with the Bulls will further strengthen our resolve to develop the game in Lagos.

“The new club will be named Lagos Bulls RLFC (Lagos Haven RLFC will cease to exist) and is looking forward to the support of Bradford Bulls in further strengthening our club in all areas.

“We would work towards Lagos Bulls becoming a pathway club to Bradford Bulls and this is the first step.”