|Rugby union in Thailand|
|Governing body||Thai Rugby Union|
|First played||Early 20th century|
Rugby union in Thailand is a significant sport.[ citation needed ] They are currently ranked 60th, with 16,121 registered players.
The governing body is the Thai Rugby Union, which was founded in 1937, and affiliated to the IRFB in 1989.
Thai rugby goes back to the early twentieth century.Unlike most other Asian countries, Thailand does not have a history of European colonialism, and was one of the few to maintain its neutrality. Thus Thai rugby is not a legacy of colonialism.
Some of the Thai middle class took up the sport in the 1920s, along with ex-patriates from French and English speaking countries.The Second World War interrupted the development of the sport, but its adoption by the Thai military and police ensured its survival.
Thai rugby still has a strong ex-pat connection - one of the most famous players for Thailand is best known for being Will Carling's brother.The Southerners Sports Club (Bangkok), and the Old Bangkok Bangers Rugby Club are Thailand's main ex-pat rugby clubs, fielding sides in the local Thailand Rugby Union competition, and in local and international 7s and 10s tournaments.
There are now at least fifty clubs in Thailand.
Thailand has a national sevens team.The Scottish rugby commentator, Bill McLaren mentioned the Thais in a report on the 1989 Hong Kong Sevens, and noted that they supplied at least one referee for the tournament, Vengsakern Paerehitya of the Royal Thai Air Force, who gained valuable experience by working with the other internationally renowned referees at the game.
Thailand has hosted two international rugby tournaments -
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