NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Rugby Africa president Abdelaziz Bougja believes
the continent’s representative at the World Cup will not only
show up the numbers but also make a serious bid for the trophy.
In a telephone
interview with Xinhua, Bougja said Africa’s three teams in the
2019 World Cup will raise the profile of the sport in the
Rugby 15s and sevens
have become one of the fastest-growing sports and the
continental body want to reap rewards from it.
“There is a huge
base of popularity in Africa. Last year alone rugby was taught
in 22,000 schools and women rugby is now actively taking up to
20 percent in school sports. Our secret is to work hard and
reach out to more teams. Make it part of Africa sports. Our hope
is to have three African teams at the Japan World Cup in 2019,”
In 2002, only six
African countries were playing the game, but now Rugby Africa
boasts 38 countries.
Out of 105 countries
playing rugby competitively, one-third are African countries.
The continental body however feels more needs to be done to
penetrate countries like Angola, South Sudan, and Sudan.
On Tuesday, Bougja
unveiled the Rugby Africa Gold Cup trophy, which is the highest
reward for any African rugby player.
The Rugby Africa
Gold Cup will kick off in Windhoek, Namibia on June 16. The
tournament from June 16 to August 18 will bring together an
impressive line-up of rugby players from six countries—Kenya,
Namibia, Morocco, Uganda, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
The top two sides
from the Africa Gold Cup will join South Africa at the Japan
World Cup in 2019.
“The Africa Gold Cup
is critical to us starting in June with three matches and
another in Aug. 15. The winner joins South Africa in Japan and
the second team will go through the repecharge, an
inter-continental qualifying tournament with teams from Asia and
Oceania. But we hope all the three teams will be in Japan,”
Rugby Africa is one
of the six regional associations affiliated with World Rugby,
the international organization governing the Rugby Union and
Rugby Africa unites
all of the African countries which play rugby 15s, rugby sevens,
and women’s rugby.
It organizes the
Africa Gold Cup, the qualifying competition for the Rugby World
Cup 2019, and Africa Sevens, a qualifying competition for the
Olympic Games 2020.
Uganda hires South African
coach to prepare for 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Uganda has hired a high performance coach,
Ninette Kruyt from South Africa to prepare the national team
ahead of the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup scheduled from July 20
to 22 in the United States.
Ramzy Olinga, the
CEO of the Uganda Rugby Union said on Wednesday that Kruyt will
work with the national head coach Tolbert Onyango to prepare the
team, Rugby Cranes.
“We decided to take
advantage of her expertise because she is among the best in
Africa as a high performance coach who is also a strength and
conditioning expert,” Olinga said.
Olinga said the team
needs fine tuning ahead of the tournament.
“She arrived on
Sunday and will be with the team for two weeks before she
travels back and again returns next month for more sessions,”
He said the team
will then travel to South Africa for further training before it
heads out to the United States.
Uganda together with
South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe will represent the African
continent at the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup.
The Rugby Cranes
will open their campaign against Samoa in the preliminary round
on July 20 at the AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Uganda qualified for
the Rugby World Cup last year after beating Zimbabwe 22-10 to
retain the Africa Rugby Sevens Cup. New Zealand are the
reigning World Cup champions.
Ghana to host 2018 Rugby Africa
ACCRA Ghana (Xinhua) --
Ghana will play host to the 2018 Rugby Africa
Bronze Cup, said a press release issued here on Tuesday.
which will feature Ghana, Lesotho, Mauritius and Rwanda, is
scheduled to take place at the Nduom sports stadium in the
central region of Ghana from May 9-12, 2018.
The event, organized
by Rugby Africa, the Africa Region of World Rugby, will kick off
with the match between Ghana and Rwanda.
The winner of the
tournament will automatically qualify for the 2019 Rugby Africa
Ghana and Lesotho
make their first appearance at this level following Lesotho’s
victory in the regional challenge 2017 and Ghana’s acquisition
of full membership status of world rugby.
Commenting on the
tournament, Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of
Ghana Rugby, said the event is about much more than just rugby,
adding that it is a showcase to the world that Ghana can produce
world-class tournaments in the country.
The Bronze Cup also
coincides with a Rugby Africa Super Week whereby a contingent of
World Rugby Trainers will be in Accra to present courses on mass
Participation, Level One Match Officiating and Level Two