|Rugby union in Swaziland|
|Governing body||Eswatini Rugby Union|
Rugby union in Eswatini is a minor sport. As of January 2021, the World Rugby Ranking of their men's national team is 98th.
The governing body is the Eswatini Rugby Union.
Rugby union was introduced into Eswatini by the British, who ruled the country for a number of years, sometimes indirectly, sometimes directly. However, it was mainly played by the white population, who made little attempt to spread it to the native Swazis, meaning that the game declined when they left.
Rugby is centred on the national capitals Mbabane. Eswatini's poverty and lack of infrastructure make it difficult to maintain a proper national league structure, although its small size makes this less of a problem than with certain other African countries.
The country is nearly surrounded on all sides by South Africa, apart from one border with Mozambique. Rugby union in South Africa is a major sport - the country has both hosted and won the Rugby World Cup - and Eswatini is saturated by South African media of various types. Because of this, Eswatini can therefore be considered one of several countries within South African rugby's sphere of influence - including Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, and Botswana.
Eswatini has the highest number of rugby players per capita on the continent of Africa, with 12.9 out of every 1,000 locals being a registered player. This edges out South Africa who officially have 10.0 players per 1,000 people.
Rugby union, widely known simply as rugby, is a full-contact team sport that 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 played between two teams of 15 players each, using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field called a pitch. The field has H-shaped goalposts at both ends.
World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. World Rugby organises the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport's most recognised and most profitable competition. It also organises a number of other international rugby competitions, such as the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Under 20 Championship, and the Pacific Nations Cup.
The 2011 Rugby World Cup was the seventh Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. The International Rugby Board (IRB) selected New Zealand as the host country in preference to Japan and South Africa at a meeting in Dublin on 17 November 2005. The tournament was won by New Zealand, who defeated France 8–7 in the final. The defending champions, South Africa, were eliminated by Australia 11–9 in the quarter-finals. The result marked the third time that the tournament was won by the country that hosted the event.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup was the eighth Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial rugby union world championship. The tournament was hosted by England from 18 September to 31 October. Of the 20 countries competing in the World Cup in 2011, there was only one change: Uruguay replaced Russia. This was the first World Cup with no new teams to the tournament.
The Rugby World Cup for women, historically known as the Women's Rugby World Cup, is the premier international competition in rugby union for women. The tournament is organised by the sport's governing body, World Rugby. The championships are currently held every four years; the event was most recently held in Ireland in 2017. World Rugby has reset the tournament on a new four-year cycle to avoid conflict with the Commonwealth Games and Women's World Cup Sevens; World Cups will thus be held every four years after 2017.
Rugby union in Namibia is a popular team sport in Namibia and its predecessor province of South West Africa. Because Namibia was formerly ruled by South Africa, rugby in Namibia was frequently influenced by events in that country and its domestic competition.
Rugby union in Brazil is a minor but growing sport, with rugby union increasing in popularity at universities across Brazil.
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 Japan is a moderately popular sport. Japan has the fourth largest population of rugby union players in the world and the sport has been played there for over a century. There are 125,000 Japanese rugby players, 3,631 official rugby clubs, and the Japan national team is ranked 7th in the world.
The Botswana national rugby union team represents Botswana in the sport of rugby union. Botswana have thus far not played in a Rugby World Cup, but have participated in qualifying tournaments. They are currently ranked 77th in the world.
The Madagascar national rugby union team represents Madagascar in the sport of rugby union. Although rugby is popular in Madagascar, the country has not yet qualified for a Rugby World Cup. It does compete annually in the Africa Cup, and was runner-up to Uganda in 2007. The national team's nickname is the Malagasy name for the ring-tailed lemur.
The Eswatini national rugby union team represent Eswatini in the sport of rugby union. They are ranked as a tier-three nation by the International Rugby Board (IRB). Eswatini have thus far not qualified for a Rugby World Cup, but have competed in qualifying tournaments.
The Mauritius national rugby union team represents Mauritius in international rugby union. Mauritius is a member of the International Rugby Board (IRB), but the national team is ranked as third tier, and Mauritius have yet to compete in either the Africa Cup or Rugby World Cup.
Rugby union in Israel was brought to the country by British soldiers during the British Mandate for Palestine. Rugby Israel was founded as the Israel Rugby Union in 1975, and joined the IRB in 1988. For political reasons it is also part of FIRA-AER, the European rugby body, rather than the Asian Rugby Football Union.
Rugby union in Austria is a minor but growing sport. The national team is currently ranked 79th in the International Rugby Board's world rankings, which ranks only the top ninety-five countries.
The 2008-2009 Africa Cup is the ninth edition of highest level rugby union tournament in Africa. The competition involves twelve teams that are divided into two zones. Each zone is then divided into two pools of three. Each pool winner then qualifies for a semi-final; the semi-final winners then play each other in the final.
Rugby union in Madagascar is a popular team sport. As of September 2018, Madagascar is ranked 50th worldwide by World Rugby (WR), and boasts over 22,540 registered players and more than 410 rugby clubs. Although Madagascar lacks a professional competition as it is one of the poorest countries in the world, it does possess a national club competition that is extensively covered in the national print media, as well as having matches televised. Rugby is considered the national sport of Madagascar.
Rugby union in Botswana is a growing sport.
Rugby union in Senegal is a moderately popular sport. The Senegal national team is currently ranked 54th by World Rugby.
The 2013 Africa Cup will be the thirteenth edition of the Africa Cup, an annual international rugby union tournament for African nations organised by the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR). This tournament, as well as the 2012 and 2014 editions of it, will serve as the qualifiers for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.