Kurdistan Rugby team to join 2021 Dubai Rugby tournament
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Rugby team, the only team of its kind in the Kurdistan Region made up of both local Kurds and foreigners, will participate again in the Dubai Rugby Sevens three-day tournament from Dec 1, 2021, to Dec 4, 2021.
“The team’s name is Kurdistan Rugby. We participated under the name of Kurdistan Irregulars before. We have participated three times previously,” Hiwa Faridun Jwanroyi, Rugby Developer at Kurdistan Rugby, told Kurdistan 24.
The Kurdish Rugby team competed in the Dubai Sevens before in 2015, 2016 and 2018, but failed to reach the finals.
“At the first and second time, only one local player participated, third time two local players. This year at least seven out of 12 players will be locals,” Jwanroyi said.
Jwanroyi also told Kurdistan 24 that they want to get more support from the Kurdistan Regional Government and receive regular donations “to enable us to support our players better and their welfare, have our own field, and establish rugby clubs in Duhok, Suli, and Erbil.”
Unlike traditional rugby, rugby sevens teams consist of seven players instead of the standard 15, and the match is divided into two seven-minute halves instead of the usual 40-minute ones. Rugby sevens are also considered to be more fast-paced.
The Kurdistan Rugby team was established in 2013 by Neil Young as a nonprofit organization aiming to introduce rugby as a popular sport to the people of Kurdistan.
Furthermore, the team arranged and participated in the first-ever rugby match in Kurdistan and Iraq on Apr 20, 2019. Kurdistan Rugby won the game 25-5 again Iraq Rugby.
The Kurdistan Rugby team organizes touch rugby sessions between Mondays and Thursdays and contact rugby training on Wednesdays in the Ankawa suburb of Erbil.