Category Archives: Rugby

Rugby in Africa: APO Group presents key facts and figures on “The Incredible Rise of African Rugby”

In 2017, growth in player registration in African nations (excluding South Africa) was 66%, against an overall global increase of 27%

Rugby is developing at an unprecedented pace in Africa. The popularity of the sport is booming all over the continent, and APO Group, the leading media relations consultancy for Africa and the Middle East and main Official Partner of World Rugby’ African association, Rugby Africa, today released a new guide to the sport called “The Incredible Rise of African Rugby”.

Abdelaziz Bougja, Chairman of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa

The document, downloadable from the APO Group website (, provides information on the development of African national rugby unions, the grass roots game and key international competitions. There is also a section dedicated to the women’s game, which is developing at an even quicker rate than the men’s.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont has acknowledged that rugby has experienced tremendous growth across Africa in recent years. “There has never been a more exciting time for rugby in Africa,” he said recently. “Ten African nations are currently placed in the top-50 of the world rankings and more women and men, girls and boys, are playing than ever before. The players are inspirational role models for the next generations of young Africans who are discovering the sport.”

APO Group became the main Official Partner of World Rugby’s African association Rugby Africa in 2017 and remains committed to raising the profile of African rugby on a global scale, helping introduce new fans to the game and building knowledge and awareness.

“Although few may know this, out of 105 countries playing rugby competitively, one-third are African,” said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group. “There are many talents in Africa who deserve better recognition by the general public. Rugby generates great excitement amongst African children, millennials and women too – making it the fastest-growing sport on the continent.”

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group and Abdelaziz Bougja, Chairman of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa during the signing ceremony of the agreement under which APO Group becomes the main Official Sponsor of Rugby Africa, at Royal Garden Hotel on November 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for APO Group)

This sentiment is backed up by the statistics. In 2017, growth in player registration in African nations (excluding South Africa) was 66%, against an overall global increase of 27%. In the female game, the number of registered players has increased by 50% in the last year alone. This phenomenal growth at grass roots level is starting to bear fruit on the international scene.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, Namibia won the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, securing its place at the World Rugby Cup 2019 in Japan,” said Abdelaziz Bougja, President of Rugby Africa. “This month will see the start of the African regional Rugby 7s tournaments which double as pre-qualifier for the 2020 Olympics. These global showcase events give further exposure to our game and allow global audiences to learn more about what Africa has to offer.”


Nigeria Rugby Sevens Squad Announced For Africa Men’s Regional Sevens

Nigeria Black Stallions Coach, Bronson Weir has named his squad for the Africa Cup Sevens North Tournament to be held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on the 15th and 16th of September, 2018.

The team features seventeen players in all with the inclusion of three foreign based players.

Bronson Weir Black Stallions head coach
photo credit: NRFF

According to Bronson: “In this Black Stallions squad, we have an extremely talented group of players with the right mix of experience and youth. I’m looking forward to seeing what the team can produce in Abidjan next weekend. The foreign based players will make a big difference. Dajuma Mshelia has blistering pace and will be vital to the team, Temi Okenla got injured during a preseason match with his club and is out. Experienced playmaker and captain; Azeez Ladipo is also a doubt due to injury he sustained on Saturday at training. We have another great playmaker; Nuhu Samaila. However, we will not lack pace at all as we still have our wing men Chistian Ogar and Onoru Jatto. Finally, Joseph Mogaji, Yannick Mukoro and Isaac Sani will bring power play into the squad.”.

Black Stallions Camp starts from the 5th of September till the 12th September during which time the team will train hard together in preparation for the regional sevens tourney.

South African born Coach Bronson Weir is very experienced as had earlier coached the Ugandan and Kenyan national teams, Weir has also coached South African National students sevens teams in the past.

This Tournament also serves as a 2020 Olympic pre qualifier and a 2019 All Africa Games qualifier.

Nigeria Black Stallions

Nigeria 7s Squad:

Isaac Sani (Cowrie)

Christian Ogar (Cowrie)

Osarobo Festus (RocketBull)

Samuel Ekpo (Cowrie )

Azeez Lapido (Cowrie)* will be given time till Monday to prove fitness due to injury

Thankgod Okafor (RC Montemor, Portugal)

Danjuma Mashiela (Dings Crusaders, UK)

Monday Alex (Racing)

Hassan Mohammed (Cowrie)

Joseph Mogaji (7sirs, UK)

Jeremiah Peter (Kings College Old Boys)

Nuhu Ibrahim (Barewa)

Joshua Etim (Barewa)

Onoru Jatto (Cowrie)

Alfred Oche (Cowrie)

Jude Abrakson (Barewa)

Yannick Mukoro (Eco II)

Manager: Ntiense Williams
Strenght & Conditioning Coach: Isaac Amadi
Doctor: Bukola Bojuwoye
Head Coach: Bronson Weir

Rwanda To Host East Africa Junior (U15/U18 Boys and Girls) Rugby 7’s Tournament

Rwanda Rugby, The Rwandan Rugby Federation is delighted to welcome youth teams from Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Kenya to Kigali this weekend.

NGOs “Connect to Africa” and “Friends of Rwandan Rugby” have coordinated efforts to host a third annual tournament of youth rugby designed to foster international competition.

It is expected that both the 15 year old and 18 year old age groups will see fierce competitions.

The games will be held at the Red Cross Field in Kigali commencing from Saturday 25th Aug at 10am and run for two days.

Secretary General of the Federation of Rwandan Rugby, Kamanda Tharcisse has said “This is a very exciting time for Rwandan rugby. We have been growing the rate of participation in our schools for more than a decade. It will be wonderful to again gauge our progress against other teams from the region. It will be great to see our players make friends with rugby players from other countries and recognise that there is major participation happening on other parts of the continent”.

Rugby in Rwanda has seen a steady increase in participation at the schools level for some time and it was noted by the Chief Administrator, John Livingstone Muhire that this tournament will be very special because of the high level of involvement of female players. He said “World Rugby has set out very clear targets for the increase in female participation. It is hoped that this tournament will show females in Rwanda of the standards in other parts of Africa and encourage more females to get involved. All of the clubs in Rwanda understand that females can play rugby and that with continued support there can be an increase in the numbers of female players and frequency of female games”.

Under 15 Boys
Under 15 Girls
Under 18 Boys
Under 18 Girls

Under 15 Boys
Under 18 Girls
Under 18 Boys

Under 18 Boys

Under 15 Boys
Under 18 Girls

Under 15 Boys
Under 15 Girls
Under 18 Boys
Under 18 Girl

Details of the event can be tracked through the Connect to Africa facebook page.

Namibia Qualify for Rugby World Cup 2019 After Winning The Africa Gold Cup

On Saturday 18 August 2018, the Namibia senior rugby team the Welwitschias played against Kenya during the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup, which is also a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

This was the fifth win for the Welwitschias and saw Namibia qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Namibia opened the scoring through a penalty by Clive Loubser.

Kenya then scored the first try of the match through right winger William Ambaka which was converted by Darwin Mukidza, to take a 7-3 lead inside 13minutes.

Namibia hit back through Chrysander Botha’s try which Loubser converted for 17-7 scoreline.

Namibia regained the lead through man of the match and double try scorer Louis Van Der Westhuizen.

Kenya’s George Nyambue breaks away from Namibian defence .

Kenya were offered an opportunity to reduce the arrears through a penalty but Ambaka missed.

Loubser then added a try and a conversion to take the scoreline to 22-7 at halftime.

The Welwitschias resumed the second half stronger with Van Der Westhuizen adding his second try of the day within a minute of resumption with Loubser adding more points from the boot.

The Welwitschias who have won the Rugby Africa Gold Cup for four times in a row will be looking to qualify for the 2019 World Cup finals slated for Japan.

With Namibia dominating the game, Kenya made a raft of changes which added urgency to their game with Ambaka scoring his second try for Kenya.

Mukidza converted the try to take the scoreline to 32-14.

The home side hit back immediately through Tjeriko Mahepisa and Loubser converted to give Namibia a 39-14 lead.

Darrly De la Harpe added his name to the try scorer and Loubser converted to take the scoreline to 46-14.

Kenya kept pushing and captain Davis Chenge scored a try which was converted by Mukidza.

Action from the Namibia Kenya Game as Darrly de la Harpe breaks away on his way to scoring a try

Kenya then scored and converted two more tries while the home team added one more converted try by Botha to leave the final scoreline at 53-28 in favour of Namibia.

With the victory Namibia retained the Africa Gold Cup for the fifth time and qualified for the world cup.

Kenya will have another chance to claim a spot at the world cup when they play the repechage qualifies in November.

Speaking to the media after the match Namibia’s Coach Phil Davies said he was pleased with the ambitions of his side.

“We played well today, the team stuck to the game plan. This means a lot as we have been building a team since the last world cup. We have an average age of 24 years now compared to 31 at the previous tournament. We have depth now,” he explained.

Captain Johan Deysel said Namibia had played well by utilizing all the chances that came their way.

Ian Snook the Kenyan coach said his team played their hearts out but lost the match due to lack ‘intelligence’.

Johan Dysel of Namibia evades a tackle as Tjiuee Uanivi moves in to help

Abdelaziz Bougja, chairman of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa (, said: “Namibia has been impressive all along this competition and today the strongest team has won. Congratulations and I have no doubt that they will make us proud at the RWC 2019 in Japan. Well done as well to Kenya who kept going and played really well. I am very proud of our African teams and the progress they have made over recent years.”

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group (, the main Official Partner of Rugby Africa, said: “As the main Official Partner of Rugby Africa, we will put all our efforts in ensuring the world knows about Namibia’s participation in the World Cup. We will soon unveil a communication plan aimed at promoting African rugby during the Rugby World Cup 2019.”

Suspense high For The 3 Remaining Matches Of The African Qualifiers For The Rugby World Cup 2019…

Suspense is high for the three remaining matches of the African qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup 2019 this Saturday, 18th August

The 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup concludes this Saturday, August 18th with three intense matches.

In Windhoek, Namibia will host Kenya for the final match of the tournament. With 17 points on the scoreboard, Kenya absolutely needs to win the match to overtake Namibia who already have a total of 20 points. In the event of a defensive bonus point for Namibia, both teams would have a total of 21 points each, and according to the rules, the winner of the match between the two tied teams would win the Cup overall. The suspense remains unabated between these two teams who have not lost a single match in the Gold Cup so far. Namibia has won with large margins and gained several bonus points giving them a good lead, but not enough to safeguard their victory against the Kenyans. The runner-up will have to be satisfied with a place in the international playoffs that will take place in November in France with teams from Germany, Canada and Hong Kong.

Solomon Okia

In Kampala, Uganda will host Zimbabwe who are still looking for a win in this tournament to save them from relegation. The Ugandans won their first two games at home and are hoping to finish on a high note in front of their many enthusiastic supporters in attendance. Finally, the duel between the fellow North Africans, Tunisia and Morocco, will be held in Jemmel and here, Morocco will be trying to achieve a first victory to stay in the Gold Cup.

In the event of a tie on points after all the matches have been played, the teams will be classified depending on the scores of the matches played. For example, Tunisia having beaten Zimbabwe, would have the advantage over the Sables in the case of a tie. The draw between Morocco and Zimbabwe means that it would be necessary to examine the goal-average to decide between them. The suspense continues to build and the pressure is rising!

Zimbabwe fans as Kenya Simbas beat Zimbabwe Sables 45-36 at RFUEA Grounds, Nairobi Kenya on Saturday June 30, 2018 during the Rugby Africa Gold Cup.
Source: Rugby Africa

The matches will be refereed by Cwengile Jadzewani (South Africa) assisted by Victor Oduor (Kenya) and Nicardo Pienaar (Namibia) in Uganda at 14:00 CAT; Egon Seconds (South Africa) assisted by Precious Pazani (Zimbabwe) and Saudah Adiru (Uganda) in Namibia at 16:00 CAT; Thomas Charrabas (France) assisted by Ignace N’dri Kan (Ivory Coast) and Sylvain Mané (Senegal) at 18:00 CAT. All matches will be broadcast live on television by Kwese Sports, also on YouTube in Africa and on the World Rugby website, YouTube channel and Twitter in the rest of the world.

Two Schools Represent Rwandan Rugby 7s At 2018 FEASSA Games

Two schools will represent the Rwandan rugby 7s in this year’s Federation of East African Secondary schools Associations (FEASSA)

Two schools will represent the Rwandan rugby 7s in this year’s Federation of East African Secondary schools Associations (FEASSA) games which will take place in Rwanda (Musanze District) from the 12th-20th August, 2018.

Those schools include ASPEKA and JAM. FEASSA 2018 will attract schools from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and the host Rwanda will be represented by 35 teams in eleven disciplines. As it happened in recent years, the newly added 7s format competition will run alongside the 15’aside format.

For the Rwandan side, the coaches of ASPEKA and JAM, Nizeyimana Alex and Hakizimana Laurien, have stated that they are confident of their teams chances of winning the competition after good performances in previous Inter-schools National League

According to Rwanda rugby technical director Claude Aime ezoua The two rugby school teams which will represent Rwanda in rugby sevens possess individual and technical quality.

However, the tactical aspect of the game needs to be improved. first they need to know how to dissociate rugby sevens from fifteens, to know how to use space in the field.

Rwanda: Two schools will represent the Rwandan rugby 7s in this year’s Federation of East African Secondary schools Associations (FEASSA)

Secondarily they must use the rhythms of games: when it is necessary to accelerate or to change the game situation.

Fixing this two problems will allow both teams have a successful outing in the next tournament in Rwanda.

The Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF) is responsible for all aspects of rugby in Rwanda from school level to the international Silverbacks. and their aim is to encourage the development of rugby in Rwanda and increase participation at all ages and both genders.

Rugby World Cup African Qualifiers: Namibia Maintains Winning Streak With 58-28 Win Over Zimbabwe

On Saturday 04 August 2018, the Namibian Welwitschias played against the Zimbabwe Sables during the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Gup, a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. In a fiercely contested game, Namibia beat its opponent 58-28.

True to their word, Zimbabwe began the match as a force to reckon with, off a kick-off from Namibia. Their interweaving backline anchored by flyhalf, Brandon Mandivenga proved to be the offensive system the team needed. Undeterred, two and a half minutes into the game, Namibia fuelled the rivalry by logging the first try by Lesley Klim and a successful conversion from Cliven Loubser to lead 7-0. Not to be undermined by their opponents, Zimbabwe fast-tracked their way to Namibia’s five to, score off a maul with a try placed by Matthew McNab and an equally successful conversion by Mandivenga in the eleventh minute upping the scoreline to 7-7.

Despite making technical changes which made an impact to Zimbabwe’s scoring system, the team’s defense began to give way to Namibia as PJ van Lill and Johann Greyling ran past to add more points cementing the team’s lead which, in turn, were converted by Loubser. By half-time, Namibia had won two successful penalties whilst conceding a single penalty to Zimbabwe leaving the score 24-7.

In the second half, Namibia’s Wian Conradie was the first to score with later contributions from Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tjiuee Uaniv and Johan van der Westhuizen. Johan Tromp managed to put in two tries past the Zimbabweans who were left playing a weak defensive as they failed to maintain their ball possession to facilitate an offensive. Namibia played rugby in its most basic form, completing their passes and maximising on Zimbabwe’s mistakes. Ball at hand, Zimbabwe presented some good runs from Mandivenga and David Makanda however, support in the field of play proved to be in short supply as they lost possession to Namibia. Zimbabwe’s fusion of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens Cheetahs into the backline paid off as both Tafadzwa Chitokwindo and Shayne Makombe delivered tries for the home crowds.

Phil Davies, Namibia’s Head Coach shared his excitement: “You have to give credit to Peter and the players today, Zimbabwe was fantastic. They played some good rugby with good offloads which put us under more pressure. What we did is we dug deep and we were very clinical when we had to be- and we deserve the victory.”

Zimbabwe Sables captain, Denford Mutamangira also added: “Namibia is a very good side but we also showed some signs of brilliance. Whenever we thought we were back in the game, we conceded and it’s something that we need to work on to make sure we don’t concede soft tries.”

Rugby World Cup African Qualifiers: Namibia maintains its winning streak with a 58-28 win over Zimbabwe

Abdelaziz Bougja, chairman of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa, said: “Today was another clear victory for Namibia, well done! The Zimbabweans however showed great skills and scored more points in this match against Namibia than Namibia has conceded over their first three matches. Depending on the result of Kenya Vs Tunisia next weekend in Nairobi, we might have a thrilling final on August 18 between Namibia and Kenya!”.

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group, the main Official Partner of Rugby Africa, said: “We are witnessing a high quality Rugby Africa Gold Cup as the nations compete for the chance to qualify for the Rugby World Cup 2019. Namibia is very much in the driving seat to qualify to their sixth consecutive Rugby World Cup, but if Kenya beat Tunisia next week, we will have a formidable final with Namibia vs Kenya on August 18. Rugby is the second most popular sport in Kenya and I know all Kenyan rugby fans are very excited about that prospect.”

In their next fixture against Uganda on the 18th of August, Zimbabwe will be fighting relegation whilst Namibia squares off with Kenya for the Rugby Africa Gold Cup at Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek.