Rugby, the new African Eldorado

While football has long been the dominant sport in Africa, another is gaining ground in this area: rugby. The Africa Cup, taking place in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence until July 10th, highlights these new practices and seeks to create vocations.

The fact that we organize our Africa Cup in France is a logical decision as we need to develop African rugby and give it visibility. To have this opportunity a year away from the world and in a place that will host international games is a blessing for us, but also for the players.. The President of Rugby Africa declared on June 30th Khaled Babbu.

If African rugby has long focused on it Namibia and in South Africa, other countries have become interested in recent years. In order to, Algeria and burundi are the two newest to have full member status of the international federation. A first step coming to the 19 African countries that have joined the 128 member countries of the International Rugby Federation.

A plan to encourage young people to learn about rugby

These goals are not the only ones being pursued by the high authorities in ovalball. The strategy of the African associations includes raising awareness among young people and women. A winning strategy that is also reflected when the numbers are called. in the 2012represent registered rugby players no fewer than 50,000 people when they approach it 350,000 out 2020. A figure that must be accompanied by quality infrastructure. “ The African Federation still needs to do more in terms of infrastructure to support young people and women. There is a monumental pool in case communication is more important “, explains the Ivorian player Eugene N’zi.

Max Brito, Ivorian rugby player, paralyzed after being shocked by a Tongan player during the 1995 World Cup. Photo credit: LÉquipe.

A date that is not so surprising if you know the project” a global sport for all » who wanted to found the International Rugby Federation. This plan creates a framework for further development and expansion of the sport. A plan that must support associations and regions in building capacity and capabilities. An operation that is part of a federation’s idea of ​​making rugby a global sport for all.

But that expansion won’t happen without leading players in the sporting world at 15.” In Africa, players promoting rugby are rare. People like the former Ivorian player Max Brito, It’s not enough. In order to inspire young people, more awareness-raising campaigns with former international players such as Thierry Dusautoir or Siya Kolisi could raise awareness of this sport and promote vocations asks Eugene N’zi.

An operation that the Algerian and Burundian federations have started to set up. Full members of Rugby Africa, the latter have not hesitated to create sustainable programs for women’s rugby and development. Burundi has no less than 2750 licensed players and has been a member of World Rugby since 2004. An indication that comes in addition to the 80 men’s teams and 40 women’s teams Member since 2019.

A variant that counts, the seven or rugby sevens

If rugby is a little more developed today than it was in the past, it is also and largely thanks to the advent of Rugby Sevens. This form of rugby can be very beneficial for women and young players.” Judge Eugnene N’zi before continuing “ Young players should all start with seven, this would allow them to really push their level. The goal is very clear, to bring out talented young players, train them in Africa and then be able to sell them at the biggest World Cups. As a reminder, rugby sevens has allowed nations like Kenya and Algeria to make their mark in the sport and join world rugby.

The Africa Rugby Cup, another development factor

To facilitate this promotion, the federation does not hesitate to organize qualifying tournaments. A strategy that allowed Namibia to beat Kenya 36-0 and qualify for the 2023 World Cup. A real opportunity to increase the reach and diversity of rugby internationally. The association wants all members to have the right framework and support to continue their growth and development.

teams such as burkina faso, the Senegalthe Ivory CoastI’Ugandathe Zimbabwe, Algeriathe Kenya and of course the Namibia were present at this gathering. Kenya, meanwhile, has to take part in a consolation tournament Portugal and the losers of the playoffs from the Americas and Asia/Oceania zones. However, this initiative still remains an isolated element. ” The Africa Rugby Cup is a great way to promote rugby in Africa, but it’s not enough. Very few African countries communicated about this event. reports Eugène N’Zi. The latter also reports that media coverage of these types of events should be much larger and not focused on a single medium like Canal+.

For now, this tournament has allowed Namibia to gain a spot and position itself 24th place the world rankings.

Qualification of Namibia at the end of the Africa Rugby Cup. Credit: Rugby Africa Cup

Thibaut Eperdussin

Our latest articles can be found here:

The latest articles from the editors (See everything)

Leave a Comment