The number of rugby players jumped by 50% between 2016 and 2017

By: Jane Ukamaka Okoli
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The Executive Board of World Rugby opened Monday in London and will vote Wednesday to designate the host country of the World Cup 2023. South Africa is favorite.

Where do you find the most passionate rugby fans? We will tend to believe that they are in the big nations where rugby is well established like England, New Zealand or South Africa. Be careful not to underestimate the passion and energy of African rugby.

In a continent known for its great football nations, rugby is quietly making its way to the sun. Last year, the number of licensed players jumped from 770,000 to more than a million. In 2013, World Rugby’s “Get Into Rugby” initiative attracted 22,000 players. In 2017 they were 384,000.

It should be noted that the number of rugby players jumped by 50% between 2016 and 2017. This year, 20% of players in this sport in Africa are women and girls.

These figures are a reflection of the passion and passion of African rugby fans across the continent. Madagascar is the perfect illustration of this passion. Rugby is the national sport and there are more clubs per capita than any other country in the world. 160 rugby clubs just in the capital Antananarivo. Their national team, made up of amateur players, is sure to fill the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium with passionate fans every game.

In Africa, 22,000 schools now offer rugby in their study program. They were 20,000 in 2016. Africa is becoming the first pool of potential fans in the world with 60% of the population under the age of 24, a proportion that is expected to increase further.

We will devote all our efforts to giving a new dimension to this discipline in Africa and beyond

New teams are joining the ranks. Algeria launched its rugby federation in 2015 and participated in 2017 in its first Africa Bronze Cup. After a course that surprised everyone the Algerian national team arrived in the final against the formidable Zambia, undefeated since 2002. The Algerians won the final only two years after the foundation of their federation.

With South Africa about to be confirmed this week as host of the 2023 World Cup and Gold Cup in 2018, African rugby has never been so prominent and rugby leaders on the continent are decided to play their role.

Driven by this momentum and Africa’s immense potential for sport in general, Rugby Africa’s African Rugby Africa Association has signed a partnership with APO Group, the leader in press relations in Africa and the Middle East. . The partnership was formalized by APO Group CEO Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard and Rugby Africa President Abdelaziz Bougja at the annual World Rugby Executive Board meeting in London on November 12, 2017.

APO is one of its many Facebook, DHL, Uber, General Electric and Societe Generale clients. APO Group’s wealth of global and pan-African experience will be invaluable in elevating the profile of African rugby globally and promoting sport across the continent.

“We will devote all our efforts to give a new dimension to this discipline in Africa and beyond,” said Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, the CEO of the APO Group.

“Beyond the initiatives that we will take to strengthen this dynamic and to attract and inspire new audiences, we will use our expertise in terms of media relations to turn the spotlight on African rugby and reach thousands of potential fans “.

This enthusiasm is shared by Rugby Africa President Abdelaziz Bougia: “We are delighted to have APO as an official partner. It was important for us to team up with this ideal interlocutor, a company that shares the values ​​of integrity, respect, tolerance, discipline and the passion normally associated with rugby.

This partnership perfectly embodies the future of African rugby, a future that draws on both a huge pool of young players and the economic potential for this booming sport for Africa and the world. This initiative, which is part of an ideal economic and demographic landscape, announces to anyone who wants to hear it that it will undoubtedly be necessary for a long time to count on African rugby.