Category Archives: Rugby

Triple Win For African Rugby on The Global Stage As Nigeria Rugby Is Welcomed Back By World Rugby In Dublin

World Rugby elects Mr Alexander from South Africa on its executive committee, adopts Burkina Faso as a new associate member and welcomes back Nigeria as a full member

SA Rugby president Mr. Mark Alexander was elected to the World Rugby’s Executive Council in elections held in Dublin on Wednesday.

“It is a huge honour to be named on the executive body among a number of highly respected administrators in the game,” said Mr. Alexander from Dublin, where the World Rugby Council held their second sitting of the year.

Mark Alexander

“South Africa has had a strong representation on the executive over time, and I am proud and humbled to follow in that tradition. These are exciting times for rugby with a number of opportunities – as well as challenges – and I am delighted to be part of this group that will be determined to continue the growth and interest in the game around the world.”

World Rugby has welcomed Burkina Faso as associate members after they submitted a successful application. To become an associate member of the international federation, a rugby union must first be a full member of its regional association, in this case Rugby Africa (www.RugbyAfrique.com). Then it must meet a certain number of criteria ranging from governance to administration and from development programs to domestic and regional competitions.

Rolande Boro, President of Burkina Faso Rugby Union

Mrs Rolande Boro, President of Burkina Faso Rugby Union is naturally delighted by the news: “It is a major achievement for Burkina Faso Rugby, we have worked very hard to grow the Game here and it is starting to show on the field. Our U18 boys came third in the Africa Youth Games in July in Algiers, and our senior sevens team finished third of the African Regional Sevens tournament in September in Abidjan. We might be a small country in the world of rugby but we have clear ambitions and a strong focus to reach them. Our next objective is obviously to be admitted as full member of World Rugby in two years time.”

Indeed, only unions in full membership of World Rugby can apply for much needed funding and participate in Rugby World Cup Qualifiers.

Kelechukwu Mbagwu President NRFF

Last but not least, Nigeria Rugby Football Federation’s suspension was lifted by World Rugby. The union had been reinstated earlier in the year by Rugby Africa once the regional association had been satisfied by the newly adopted governance process and constitution in Nigeria. Following the announcement, NRFF’s President Kelechukwu Mbagwu had this to say: “We are extremely happy and grateful to be back within the rugby family, I am particularly fulfilled that our hard work and preparations were not in vain. A big thank you to Rugby Afrique for their support and belief in us.”

Rugby Africa’s President and World Rugby Council member, Abdelaziz Bougja, was present in Dublin and instrumental in all three decisions made in connection with Africa. He reports: “It was indeed a big day for Africa on the international stage and I am really happy with the outcomes. We are strengthening our presence in the global rugby family and no one can deny that Africa is making great strides. I wish to congratulate Mr Alexander for his election at World Rugby’s Executive committee; I have no doubt that he will be making a major contribution towards African rugby in his new role. I wish all the best to Burkina Faso and Nigeria Rugby Football Federation; they are excellent examples of what can be achieved when the leadership is right and set to work to grow the Game from grassroot levels all the way to national teams. I am really proud of their success and the positive image they are conveying of rugby in their respective countries.”

He further adds : “I look forward to welcoming all our member unions in Marrakech for the African Rugby Summit from February 27th to March 3rd 2019. It will be a fantastic celebration of African Rugby concluded by our 13thGeneral Assembly.”

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Cross-Border Rugby Holds Today in Zambia

The Zambia Rugby Union has sanctioned an International Cross border Men’s and Women’s Rugby Game between hosts Ndola Rugby Club versus New Krac Athletic Rugby Club (Men’s Rugby) of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) while the Women’s Game will involve Mufulira Leopardess Rugby Team (Zambia) versus Ouragan Ladies Rugby Team also from Lubumbashi DRC. This has been reviewed by Zambia Rugby Union Communications Manager Tom Chaloba.

The Lubumbashi based teams will comprise 4 men national team players and 2 female national team players. This will be the second time a team from the Congo will be competing on Zambian soil, the first being the Men’s National Team which took part in the KPF AMERICAN RUGBY TOURNAMENT in the year 2016. This will, however, be the first time for any women’s rugby team from DRC playing against any Zambian team.

The matches have been sanctioned by both Zambia Rugby Union and the Congo Rugby Federation and will be played on Saturday 3rd November, 2018 (today). The girls game kicks off at 2pm while the men’s game will kick off at 4pm. Gate charges have been put at $2 per head.

The DRC delegation will be led by Mr Papy Muipatayi Mulamba, President of New Krac Athletic Rugby.

Chaloba has since called upon all rugby loving Zambians to go in numbers and support Ndola, Mufulira and Zambian Rugby generally in this international display.

Zambia Rugby joins Algeria and six others in 2019 Gold Cup

Despite the hosts Zambia Rugby by a 31-nil scoreline against the visitors on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon, Africa Rugby President Abdelaziz Bougja reviewed that both teams qualify for the Gold Cup.

Mr Aziz said the decision was taken at the last meeting held in Tunisia to increase the number of teams participating in next year’s games from 6 to 8. “As you know, Zambia beat Botswana and Madagascar in the Silver Cup South whilst Algeria beat Ivory Coast and Senegal in the Silver Cup North, so in this regard is was not a difficult decision to make”.

Meanwhile, Director of Sport at the Ministry of Youth & Sport Mr Gib Muyaule expressed delight at the news of Zambia’s inclusion to compete against the elite of Africa. “The news by Africa Rugby comes as an opportunity for Zambia to feature on a much larger platform and we know it will be tough but we hope our technical bench will put measures in place to drill the team to expected standards”.

Speaking at the same function, MOPANI COPPER MINES Chief Operations Officer Deon van de Mersh said his company shall continue working with the Zambia Rugby Union to ensure progress. “We are very pleased with the announcement/ revelation that Zambia will participate in the Continent’s show piece and we pledge our comapany’s commitment to the partnership with the Rugby Union to ensure the team meets all it’s game fixtures”, he said.

Zambia Rugby Union Boss Appreciates Visit By Rugby Africa Boss

“The visit by the President of Rugby Africa Mr Abdelaziz Bougja is an endorsement on how far we have come as a Union in our efforts to cement the game of rugby in Zambia starting at youth level, community level, girls/women’s level, club and national level”. This was reviewed by the Zambia Rugby Union President when speaking at a dinner at the Mufulira Boating Club in honour of Mr Aziz on Friday 19th October, 2018.

Speaking at the same event, Mufulira Boating Club Manager Vince Andrews said the visit by Mr Aziz was of great significance to the Club as it had been restored using old and recycled materials from MOPANI COPPER MINES underground shafts. Mr Andrews said “Renovations started 3 years ago and it was amazing that we are now able to host events and personalities of global importance, we are even more proud because we used local materials and local labor making this the most affordable world class venue”.

In his keynote speech, Africa Rugby President Abdoulaziz Bougja paid tribute to the Zambia Rugby Union and its partners MOPANI for a well structured partnership that has brought great development to the game of rugby in Zambia whose fruits were being appreciated across the continent. “The partnership between Zambia Rugby Union and MOPANI COPPER MINES has started bearing tangible results, the whole rugby world is watching with keen interest and learning how an African Rugby Union has been able to do so much in such a short space of time. It is our sincere hope as Africa Rugby that in spite of the results against Algeria in this qualifiers, Rugby will be the ultimate winner”.

Also in attendance at the event was MOPANI COPPER MINES Operations Manager Maambo Chonya, Mufulira Rugby Club Chairman Thomson Ngulube, Zambia Rugby Union Head of Secretariat Noble Chisanga, Tournament Director Henry Shikopa, Match Commissioner Johnbosco Muamba, Citing Commissioner Juma Absalom, Get Into Rugby Zambia Project Manager Tom Chaloba and many others.

Earlier in the day, the Entourage was given a tour of MOPANI Central Training College (MCTC) where most of the Mufulira Rugby Club players are being trained in various courses such as Engineering, Electrical, Electronics, Heavy Duty Mechanics and many more before being employed by the mining company.

Rugby Africa Lauds Zambia Rugby’s Progress

The President of Africa Rugby Mr Abdoulaziz Bougja has paid tribute to the progress being made by the Zambia Rugby Union towards growth and development of the game in the country.

Speaking on arrival at the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola, Mr Aziz (as he is commonly known) said he has been following the progress of the game and was here to see for himself. “The game of Zambian Rugby has been in the limelight in the international media for the last few months and all reviews have been positive so I have taken advantage of this weekend’s games to come and see for myself, the strategies you have initiated to promote the game are amazing”.

He further said, “I watched the Zambia 7s team at the Africa Men’s Sevens tournament in Tunisia and I could see a great future for them, so watching your 15s team will give us a better understanding of what happens when a Union does things above board and sponsors (RGSM & MOPANI ) are satisfied”.

“Zambia is amongst the very few members of Africa Rugby that have successfully integrated Get Into Rugby, Tag Rugby, Touch Rugby, Gilrs/Women’s Rugby, Schools & Community Rugby activities to properly function as a combined entity pursuing one common agenda which is increasing numbers of participants” he said this when he met Get Into Rugby Zambia Manager Tom Chaloba.

Meanwhile, Zambia Rugby Union President Gen Clement Sinkamba said the coming of Africa Rugby (AR) President signifies the importance of this weekend’s game between Zambia vs Algeria and also the confidence being put in his executive by Africa Rugby to continue hosting major rugby games in the country.

Zambian Rugby commemorates International Day Of Girl Child with a Tag Rugby Girls Tournament

As the world commemorates the International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October, 2018, the Zambia Rugby Union (ZRU) in partnership with the Tag Rugby Trust (TRT) organised a Girls Only Tag Rugby Tournament at Harmony Community School in Chipata Compound of Kitwe District in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia.

The games which kicked off at 09am attracted scores of spectators from the surrounding neighbourhood both girls and boys, young and old, with some climbing the walls fence just to catch a glimpse of the games.

Being a “Girls Only Tourney” the organising coordinator ensured that only female Young leaders officiated the games led by Ms Sarah Nkhata.

Get Into Rugby Zambia Project Manager Tom Chaloba commended the efforts being made by the Tag Rugby Trust (TRT) who undertake annual coaching trips to Kitwe, Ndola, Lusaka, Kafue & Livingstone. “This is indeed one partnership that has brought tangible benefits to the lives of kids in these communities where TRT operates from”. He added that TRT has been an all weather friend to the Zambia Rugby Union as they usually help out with kit and equipment whenever called upon and this has greatly help build interest amongst the young participants.

Zambian Rugby commemorates International Day Of Girl Child with a Tag Rugby Girls Tournament

His sentiments were echoed by Tag Rugby Trust Zambia Coordinator Chris Mwamba who said TRT has been operating in Zambia since 2006. “Some of the young girls who passed through Tag Rugby are now playing for the Zambia National Team and it is gratifying to see so much progress being made across the country”. This is in line with our motto of “Building Futures Through Rugby” he concluded.

The 2018 International Day of the Girl Child commemorations were being held under the theme: With Her: A Skilled GirlForce

The 12 Best African Rugby Teams Compete In The Africa Men’s Sevens Tournament

The 12 best African Teams Compete In The Africa Men’s Sevens tournament, The Biggest Africa Rugby Event

The twelve best African teams (apart from South Africa) will compete for the African Champion title. In 2019 they will be joined by Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have just been promoted from regional pre qualification events. The 2019 Africa Men’s Sevens tournament will serve as Olympic Qualifier for Tokyo 2020. It is worth noting that should Kenya and South Africa – the two African teams competing in the Sevens World Series – finish in the top 4 of the 2018-2019 Series, they will automatically qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. If they don’t, they will have to play in the 2019 Africa Men’s Sevens to earn their right to feature in the Olympic Games.

Referees in preparation

But right now, the focus is in Tunisia on the 2018 edition of the Africa Men’s Sevens tournaments being the biggest African rugby event with 12 teams from all over the continent: Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Zambia, Tunisia, Senegal, Morocco, Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius, Namibia.

In 2017, Kenya did not take part in the annual African tournament as they had already qualified for the Sevens World Cup based on their performance in the previous World Cup. But this year, they are back in the game and as keen as ever to be crowned African Champion.

Johnbosco Muamba, Alhambra Nievas, Salem Attalah

Kenya Rugby Union President, Richard Omwela, is in Tunisia to support his team and comments:

“Kenya has just concluded the 20th edition of the Stanbic Bank National Sevens Circuit which serves as the national club sevens championship and it has again proven to be as competitive as ever, Menengai Cream Homeboyz winning a second overall title in three years. It has additionally unearthed amazing talent such as Stanbic Mwamba youngsters Daniel Taabu and Ronnie Omondi, Mark Wandetto from Homeboyz to name but a few who all have been selected in a 31 man provisional Kenya Sevens squad for the 2018/19 season. We hope to see these youngsters linking up with experienced hands like Collins Injera, Andrew Amonde and Eden Agero as we plot to reclaim our Africa title and take on the world during the upcoming season.”

This event is also an exciting opportunity for younger teams to assess their progress against stronger sides the likes of Kenya, Uganda or Zimbabwe.

According to Mr Herbert Mensah, President of Ghana Rugby, this will only be the second time that Ghana will take part in the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens tournament and the Union is looking forward to using the opportunity to develop its players. “Ghana is definitely still the underdog, as it was in 2017. The coaches and players have worked hard and everybody is looking forward to the opportunity to gain some much-needed match experience.”

Aziz Bougja President Rugby Africa and Alhambra Nievas

Similarly, Botswana Rugby team manager, Matthew Gibson is very excited about the upcoming tournament. “We have opted to select our younger players and looked at the youth as the future and development of 7s within Botswana. Preparations for the tournament have gone well and I know that the players are looking forward to the opportunity to show case themselves in the International arena.”

The tournament is also used to build capacity with the ten best African referees – outside of South Africa – including two women gathered in a preparation camp under the guidance of Salem Attalah, former French top 14 referee and Alhambra Nievas, international referee and newly appointed referee development manager for World Rugby.

Watch Live on YouTube and on Kwese Free Sports:

Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUCs3bS6-DI

Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8kNBuJCy8E

Program of the tournament – Saturday 13 October, Sunday 14 October 2018: