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Algeria play first rugby international on home soil against Tunisia

Algeria play first rugby international on home soil against Tunisia

Algeria

It is 18th November 2015, and Algeria’s first ever rugby team has been born, after almost half a century since the country’s independence in 1962.

For their international match ever, they are going up against neighbors Tunisia, who are ranked 38th in the world.

And for fans of the gentleman’s game, this is a very important day.

This lads have a goal in mind: to play the 2019 IRB rugby World Cup in Japan.

“I find it extraordinary that a new sport has been introduced in Algeria. Algerian youth are attracted more to football than rugby, so I think we should increasingly promote the sport and other unknown sports in Algeria, “ says Lila, an Algerian rugby fan.

The final whistle goes, and the scores read 16-6 if favour of the locals. It’s a moment of pride for these players, most of whom grew up overseas.

“Every player, anywhere in Europe, whether in New Zealand, whether in Australia, whether in France, whether in England, priority in his career was to come and play in Algeria,” says Faisal Bentayeb, captain of the Algerian rugby team.

The idea to create an Algerian rugby team was born in 2007, when a group of players playing in France thought of bringing the sport back to their country.

The first club was created in Oran, followed by a dozen others around the country.
9 years later, the national federation was finally recognized.

“Today we want to introduce rugby in small drops, and in ten years we’ll possibly have our own rugby culture,“says Sofiane Benhassen, president of the Algerian rugby federation.
T
he federation wants to bring rugby in school sports programs, and gradually climb the ranks of African nations rugby largely dominated by the South Africa’s Springboks.

This lads have a goal in mind: to play the 2019 IRB rugby World Cup in Japan.

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