Rugby union in Ghana, and its predecessor the Gold Coast is a minor but growing sport with a long history.
Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line.
Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa from 1867 to its independence as the nation of Ghana in 1957.
The Ghana Rugby Football Union is the governing body for the sport.The Current President of the Union is Gifty Annan Myers and has put a lot of effort into ensuring rugby has a strong framework in Ghana and is also responsible for Ghana's participation in Competitions.
Rugby was first introduced into Ghana when it was a British colony, and many of the players were in the military. Like many minor African rugby nations, the sport is played in and around the capital, Accra, and for a number of years, the sport was dominated by white expatriates, working in oil, and aluminium
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, covering an area of 225.67 km2 (87.13 sq mi) with an estimated urban population of 2.27 million as of 2012. It is organized into 10 local government districts – 9 municipal districts and the Accra Metropolitan District, which is the only district within the capital to be granted city status. "Accra" usually refers to the Accra Metropolitan Area, which serves as the capital of Ghana, while the district within the jurisdiction of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly is distinguished from the rest of the capital as the "City of Accra". In common usage, however, the terms "Accra" and "City of Accra" are used interchangeably.
In June, 2009, Ghana hosted the first ever North West Africa women's Sevens.
There are also a small number of teams which have been established which include Cape coast RFC and the Accra Warriors which both involve the volunteers from Gap Year companies. Many players from these teams go on to play for the National Side who are making their mark on African Rugby.
The Ghana national rugby union team represents Ghana in international rugby union. Ghana are not a member of the International Rugby Board (IRB), and as of 2016 had not played in a Rugby World Cup tournament. Ghana played their first international game during the 2003 season, and defeated Mauritania by 29 points to 8. Since then there have been a number of youth teams in Ghana; the under-18 team won a junior rugby competition. The National Team itself has hosted a tournament and had some credible results on the field.
The Africa Cup is an annual rugby union tournament involving African nations, organised by Rugby Africa. The tournament was first held in 2000, and has since been contested on an annual basis. Prior to being renamed the Africa Cup in 2006, the tournament was known as the CAR Top 9 and CAR Top 10.
Rugby sevens, and originally known as seven-a-side rugby, is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves. Rugby sevens is administered by World Rugby, the body responsible for rugby union worldwide. The game is popular at all levels, with amateur and club tournaments generally held in the summer months. Sevens is one of the most well distributed forms of rugby, and is popular in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and especially in the South Pacific.
Rugby union has been a men's medal sport at the modern Summer Olympic Games, being played at four of the first seven competitions. The sport debuted at the 1900 Paris games where the gold medal was won by the host nation. It was subsequently featured at the London games in 1908, the Antwerp games in 1920 and the Paris games in 1924.
Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in Fiji. It is divided into over 30 provincial unions. The Fiji Rugby Union is a member of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA), along with Samoa and Tonga. There are approximately 80,000 registered players from a total population of around 950,000.
Rugby union in the United States is a growing national sport. Rugby union at the youth, high school, college, club, and international levels is governed by USA Rugby. There are over 125,000 players registered with USA Rugby as of 2016. Over 2,500 rugby clubs exist around the country, with college rugby being the most popular.
The Safari Sevens is an annual rugby sevens tournament held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Safari Sevens is open to international representative sides, professional and amateur clubs, invitational teams, university and school teams.
Rugby union in Kenya is a popular sport, in particular due to the success of the Kenya national rugby sevens team in the rugby sevens format, and tournaments such as the Safari Sevens, which has been growing yearly, and now includes numerous international teams.
Rugby union in Tunisia is a significant sport. They are currently ranked 35th in the world, with 15,057 registered players, and 72 clubs.
Rugby Union in Mali is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in Cameroon is a minor but growing sport. They are currently ranked 77th by the IRB.
Rugby union in Nigeria is a minor but growing sport. They are currently ranked 75th by the IRB.
Rugby union in Senegal is a moderately popular sport. The Senegal national team is currently ranked 55th by the International Rugby Board.
Rugby union in Swaziland is a minor sport. They are currently ranked 83rd by the IRB.
Rugby union in Tanzania is a minor but growing sport.
Rugby union in Slovenia is a minor but growing sport. They are currently ranked 43rd by the IRB.
Rugby union in Egypt is a minor but growing sport.
The Ghana Rugby Association, operating as the Ghana Rugby Football Union, is the governing body for rugby union in Ghana. It is a member of Rugby Africa and a full member of World Rugby since 2017.
The 2011–12 IRB Sevens World Series, known for sponsorship reasons as the HSBC Sevens World Series, was the 13th annual series of the IRB Sevens World Series tournaments for full national sides run by the International Rugby Board since 1999–2000.
Herbert Amponsah Mensah is a Ghanaian businessman and sports administrator and the president of the Ghana Rugby Association (GRA) operating as the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU).