Afghan Rugby takes another step forward

(IRB.COM) Thursday 19 July 2012
 Afghan Rugby takes another step forward
Kabul United took on Khurasan in the first 15s match to take place under the auspices of the ARF

The first-ever competitive game of 15-a-side Rugby to be played under the auspices of the Afghanistan Rugby Federation (ARF) took place recently in the capital city, Kabul, between two club sides.

The staging of the match, organised at the Chaman Huzuri ground between Kabul United RFC and Khurasan RFC, was an historic occasion for the teams and for Afghan Rugby, which has made significant steps forward in recent months after the ARF was affiliated to the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) late last year.

The hard-fought and competitive match ended in a draw, perhaps instigating a rivalry between the two clubs that will continue long into the future as this ARF competition strengthens. Given the hot July weather in Kabul, it was decided not to play extra time so no winner was declared.

The match was attended by ARF Chairman Mohammad Mansoor and Chief Executive Asad Ziar as well as several of the Afghanistan national Rugby team and local sportsmen from different backgrounds.

“Since we joined ARFU last November, we have made huge strides forward for Rugby in Afghanistan. I predict that Rugby will soon be the top sport in this country,” said Asad Ziar.

Back in April, the Afghanistan national Rugby Sevens team played its first ever matches when it took on UAE Shaheen, a development side made up entirely of local Emirati from the United Arab Emirates. In the three-match series, UAE Shaheen won 2-1.

Mohammad Mansoor said: “Rugby suits the Afghan people because it is a tough, physical and athletic sport which depends on good teamwork, strength and passion, and currently we have most of the qualities required for this game. The only things that we are lacking are experience and a technical knowledge of the game.”