Rugby union in Egypt

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Rugby union in Egypt is a minor but growing sport.

Governing body

The governing body is the Egyptian Rugby Football Union, which was founded in 2008. [1] It is a member of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). [1]



Australian rugby player Tom Richards played the game while stationed in Egypt. Tom Richards 1908.jpg
Australian rugby player Tom Richards played the game while stationed in Egypt.

Rugby was first introduced into Egypt by the British, and was generally played by expatriates. However, the departure of the British from the region meant that the game went into sharp decline. Like many other North African nations, Egyptian rugby tended to look to Europe for inspiration, rather than to the rest of Africa or the Middle East. However, the Dubai Sevens has helped stir up some interest in the sport in Arabic-speaking nations. Rugby union is quite popular in neighbouring Israel, but the hostility between the two nations means that there is little sporting contact between them.

Dubai Sevens

The Dubai Sevens is an annual rugby sevens and social event held at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai, UAE. Founded in 1970, the event is the longest running sports event in the Middle East.

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

During the lead up to the Dardanelles Campaign, and Gallipoli in World War I, a number of ANZAC and British troops were stationed in Egypt. They played a number of games "in the shadow of the pyramids", and these were "games that meant as much to the players and the keen followers as ever did an international game on the Sydney Cricket Ground". [2] The pitches were described as consisting of "sun-baked mud that rashed and cut all unwary players, or several inches deep in heavy, black mud". [2] Tom Richards would write:

Gallipoli peninsula

The Gallipoli peninsula is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Sydney Cricket Ground stadium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney, Australia. It is used for Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league football, rugby union, and association football. It is the home ground for the New South Wales Blues cricket team, the Sydney Sixers of the Big Bash League, the Sydney Roosters of the National Rugby League, the NSW Waratahs of Super Rugby and the Sydney Swans Australian Football League club. It is owned and operated by the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust that also manages the Sydney Football Stadium located next door. Until the 44,000 seat Football Stadium opened in 1988, the Sydney Cricket Ground was the major rugby league venue in Sydney.

"Playing on the Delta country, with the mighty monument of Cheops towering to a height of nearly 560 feet [170m] above our playing level, stirred everyone with a feeling of awe. It was certainly a venerable spot to play on... There was an atmosphere so full of Eastern mesmerism - the mystic veil of the East - that all young Australians conjured up wild imaginations of and played their manly game with the same vigour and dash as if they were in an amphitheatre, where any lack of determination meant 'thumbs down' which, in turn, meant death to the losers." [2]

However, there has been an upsurge of rugby in the Middle East - particularly the Persian Gulf, and in Africa, and this has stimulated interest in the game there. In addition, the Egyptian diaspora in English and French speaking countries has become interested in the game.

Persian Gulf An arm of the Indian Ocean in western Asia

The Persian Gulf, is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest. The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Cairo RFC was founded in the 1980s, [3] at a social club and it was the only club in Egypt for a number of years. [4] Alexandria RFC was founded in 2003, by expatriates. [3]

There are currently twelve Egyptian rugby clubs: the Alexandria Rugby Club, Alexandria Warriors R.F.C, AUC Wolves American University in Cairo, GUC Panthers German University in Cairo, Cairo Rugby Club, British University in Cairo (BUE), Sharm Sharks R.F.C ., [1] The Old Alssonians, Raptors in the Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria Uni, AAST Titans in the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Eagles in the Alex Aero Club and the Malaysian Alex Rugby Club.

German University in Cairo university

The German University in Cairo is a university in New Cairo City, Cairo, Egypt. The language of instruction is English. Presidential decree 27/2002 established the university. The University of Stuttgart and the University of Ulm are the patrons of this university.

The game is currently in a state of intense development, with an Egyptian rugby Championship established, and attempts to set up a national team.

Under 20s rugby

Egypt has seen some progress in under-twenties rugby.

The first Egypt U-20s team recently toured Lebanon, playing two test matches and winning them both (52-5 and 14-10). Managed by Shady A. Abo Shady, founder of juniors and girls rugby, and coached by Ahmed El-Soussi, the squad was made up of players from several teams in Cairo and Alexandria.

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 retrieved 5 July 2009
  2. 1 2 3 "A Life Less Ordinary" on the Rugby Readers review Retrieved 26 July 2009
  3. 1 2 Retrieved 5 July 2009
  4. "Islam and Rugby" on the Rugby Readers review Retrieved 5 July 2009