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WINNERS: Jamaica’s rugby players celebrate

JAMAICA CONTINUED to show its sporting prowess when at the recent Rugby Americas North 7s tournament in Mexico, in a thrilling final they beat Guyana in a final minute game-winning try.

The road to the final was not easy for the Jamaica Crocs having to play against Bermuda and Dominican Republic in the round robin phase, Cayman in the knock out stages and the hosts in the semi-finals.

Success in Mexico now means that Jamaica have qualified for some major tournaments next year. They include the World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier (Hong Kong), Commonwealth Games (Australia), World Rugby Sevens (San Francisco) and the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) Games (Barranquilla, Colombia)
Meanwhile Ghanaian rugby looks to also take a leap for- ward.

INTERNATIONAL

The Ghana Rugby Football Union has indicated that it plans to submit tenders to host two international rugby tournaments next year. The Africa Rugby tournament schedules for 2018 were announced last week and Ghana has been included in the Men’s 15s Bronze Cup in April as well as in the Men’s 7s Tournament in October. In addition to the Africa rugby tournaments, GhanaRugby also intends to host an inter- national men’s 7s tournament between eight nations that will primarily include west African Rugby Unions. A date for this tournament is yet to be finalised.

APPROVAL

The inclusion of Ghana Rug- by in the Africa rugby tournaments followed the achievements by Ghana Rugby over the past three years and specifically the approval of the Union as Full Member of World Rugby. According to the president and board chairman of Ghana Rugby, Herbert Mensah, the hosting of international tournaments by Ghana Rugby goes beyond just rugby.

“The hosting of international tournaments is indeed a nation- al issue and as such should be regarded as an investment by the country to promote Ghana as country and as event destination,” Mensah said.

Mensah continued to say that such international sports tournaments provide the ideal plat- form to fly Ghana’s flag high to the global community, to instill pride in Ghanaians to be a Gha- naian, to promote Ghana as a international hosting destination, to support economic activity in Ghana, and to improve Ghana’s chance at success to win the event.

“A good example is the Africa Rugby Bronze Cup in April where Mauritius will be competing. In quarter three of 2016, Mauritius had the largest investments values in Ghana with a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) value of US$178 million. Hosting that tournament in Ghana will obviously have a very good image impact on a very important segment of investors.”

The Africa Rugby Men’s 15s Bronze Cup is scheduled for April 16 -21 and Ghana, Le- sotho, Mauritius and Rwanda will compete for the spoils of promotion to the 2019 Africa Rugby Silver Cup.

COMPETE

Twelve nations will compete in the October 2018 Africa Rugby Men’s Sevens Tournament including Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Morocco, Zambia, Tunisia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mauritius, Ghana and one other Union.

Mensah said that, although successful bidders are given a grant for the hosting of such tournaments, the grants always fall well short of the total funds required to professionally host such important national events.
“Rugby, as all other sports, is dependent on the support from the Government of Ghana and from corporate and other sponsors to fly Ghana’s flag high and proud and to make us all proud to be Ghanaians,” he said.

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