Rugby union in Saudi Arabia

Last updated
Rugby union in Saudi Arabia
CountrySaudi Arabia
National team(s) Saudi Arabia
First playedMid 20th Century

Rugby union in Saudi Arabia is a minor but growing sport, which has been played for several decades in the Kingdom. Many of the local rugby teams date back to the late 1970s.

Contents

Governing body

Rugby is a developing sport in the kingdom. The current 'Saudi Rugby' organisation is licensed by the Saudi Government and a member of Asia Rugby Union. Its president is Prince Sultan Al Saud and the secretary general is Mr. Faleh al Bishi.

History

Due to the climate, Saudi rugby has been frequently played in extreme temperatures, with high temperatures or even on sand. Games are usually held in the evening for this reason.

Rugby union was introduced into Saudi Arabia by the British in the mid-twentieth century. In more recent times, an influx of western expat workers has meant that the sport has experienced a form of revival and for a while had a significant number of Saudi nationals playing.

Saudi Arabia participated in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from 19 September to 4 October 2014. On 29 April 2016 Saudi Arabia played Jordan in their first IRB recognized international game.

Saudi Rugby Federation has no recognized clubs in the kingdom, however; there are currently 6 officially recognized teams in Saudi Arabia:


At the Dubai 7s 2012 Jeddah Team narrowly lost the Gulf Men's Open Plate and in the same competition in 2010, Riyadh Falcons won the Plate – beating Riyadh Warriors 17–0 in the quarter finals on the way to defeating Fujairah 29–0 in the Plate final. Also in 2012 the Riyadh Falcons won the Beirut 10's competition.

In November 2012 A national team, consisting only of Saudi nationals entered the West Asia 7's competition in Dubai. They finished 3rd overall with Lebanon taking the title.

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