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The lost prodigal sons

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The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 07:33

An other of my not so interesting threads
In the most part of the world rugby is growing and spreading, even if maybe slowly; in some nations instead rugby was never able to appear (Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Eritrea are the first coming to my mind); and then there are few nations where rugby was once blooming and then disappeared or so. Here is a list, maybe incomplete

Armenia: last game in 2011, first in 2004; 28 payed (20-8)
Kyrgyzstan: last game in 2009, first in 2008; 4 played (1-1-2)
Macau: last game in 2006, first in 2004; 3 played (2-1)
Monaco: last game in 2009, first in 1998; 28 played (9-19)
Morocco: last game in 2013, first in 1931; 187 played (87-8-92)
Tanzania: last game in 2010, first in 2004; 20 played (12-8)
Tokelau: last game in 1983, first in 1983; 3 played (0-3)
Not considering those vanished or renamed by the history, like Yugoslavia, East Germany, Arabian Gulf, New Hebrides, Rhodesia…

Situations are different: Tokealu is honestly too little to have a real national XV team, Monaco and Macau are small and with the problem to find quite eligible players, Armenia paid the fact to have a national team composed by french-based players and now has to hardly recreate a local homeground; Kyrgyzstan has a federation and some activity but probably too few teams to form a national one; Morocco was able many years ago to defeat twice Italy, then recently it has been suspended but should return in international competitions next year. Tanzania was once a relatively good rugby nation and it's in this list the team that I'd like more to see again on world panorama, battling with Zambia and the other near nations; I think their main problem is (or at least it was until few time ago) the too harsh rivalry between the main rugby city Arusha and the federation based in Dar es Salaam.
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby amz » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 08:29

I had no idea that Morroco ceased to play test matches, I thought they have a fair share of players in France and this wouldn't be a problem.

Armenia would have been good to continue the development, maybe even by starting a team in Georgian championship. They should use their vicinity with such a developed rugby nation as Georgia.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Rowan » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 08:59

Wallis & Fatuna (pop. 13,000) played 7 games between 1966 & 1971, recording a solitary win over Tahiti. They have since confined themselves to sevens at international level.

New Caledonia and Vanuatu/New Hebrides also appear to have been out of action for several years.

Macau now competes as a club team, apparently.
If they're good enough to play at World Cups, then why not in between?

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Ser Podrick of Payne » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 11:33

amz wrote:I had no idea that Morroco ceased to play test matches, I thought they have a fair share of players in France and this wouldn't be a problem.

Armenia would have been good to continue the development, maybe even by starting a team in Georgian championship. They should use their vicinity with such a developed rugby nation as Georgia.

Morocco has/had maladministration issues between the Union and the Sports Ministry I think, the FRMR was stripped of its status by the Ministry IIRC so Africa Rugby had to suspend them, as did the IRB (now World Rugby). They were re-instated earlier this year.

Now they are back in Africa Cup competition at XVs in U19 at least

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby amz » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 13:31

Oh, I get it now, thank you for clarification.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Hansgrohe » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 20:23

Shame rugby couldn't develop in Armenia, especially given the French based population and their Georgian neighbors

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 20:47

amz wrote:Armenia would have been good to continue the development, maybe even by starting a team in Georgian championship. They should use their vicinity with such a developed rugby nation as Georgia.


Hansgrohe wrote:Shame rugby couldn't develop in Armenia, especially given the French based population and their Georgian neighbors

Georgia seems a drop of rugby fallen in the desert: there are not rugby nations near them, the nearer is Romania on the other side of the Black Sea some 800 km far I think. Azerbaijan, Armenia, south of Russia, even Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, the republics on the other side of the Caspian Sea are all poor or very poor of rugby. That makes georgian rugby to appear even more a sort of "miracle"
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby amz » Wed, 14 Oct 2015, 22:34

Well, there was no rugby for decades around Romania too...well, Soviet maybe but with big hiatus.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Thu, 15 Oct 2015, 14:44

A good list of IRB members and not-members http://users.skynet.be/hermandw/if/ifrug.html

It's probably not freshly updated because it still talks of IRB, but it's updated at least at 2011
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby stuartdm » Thu, 15 Oct 2015, 15:58

I suppose in the same boat as Tokelau is Niue.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Thu, 15 Oct 2015, 17:46

About never-played-a-test-match nations, there are more or less 62 of them (it depends on which dependent territories you count) in the world. In order of population, with this last expressed in millions:

Bangladesh 157
Ethiopia 94
Vietnam 90
Myanmar 53
Sudan 38
Iraq 33
Afghanistan 31
Saudi Arabia 29
Nepal 27
Mozambique 26
North Korea 25
Yemen 24
Syria 23
Angola 19
Malawi 16
Guinea 12
Cuba 11
Bolivia 11
South Sudan 11
Haiti 10
Somalia 10
Less than 10, more than 2 millions: Honduras, Tajikistan, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Turkmenistan, Liberia, Central Africa, Kuwait, Oman, Puerto Rico, Albania, Palestine, Macedonia
Less than 2 millions: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Micronesia, Nauru, Northern Mariana, Palau, Saint Kitts & Nevis, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Suriname, Tuvalu, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vatican

I expect Malawi, Honduras and Bolivia as next to debut
The biggest never-playing nations are in asian south-east, in african horn and in "middle east"
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Hansgrohe » Thu, 15 Oct 2015, 20:04

Hard to see some of these nations taking off soon. Some suffer from serious stability and infrastructure issues.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby rampage » Fri, 16 Oct 2015, 02:39

Canalina wrote:About never-played-a-test-match nations, there are more or less 62 of them (it depends on which dependent territories you count) in the world. In order of population, with this last expressed in millions:

Bangladesh 157
Ethiopia 94
Vietnam 90
Myanmar 53
Sudan 38
Iraq 33
Afghanistan 31
Saudi Arabia 29
Nepal 27
Mozambique 26
North Korea 25
Yemen 24
Syria 23
Angola 19
Malawi 16
Guinea 12
Cuba 11
Bolivia 11
South Sudan 11
Haiti 10
Somalia 10
Less than 10, more than 2 millions: Honduras, Tajikistan, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Turkmenistan, Liberia, Central Africa, Kuwait, Oman, Puerto Rico, Albania, Palestine, Macedonia
Less than 2 millions: Antigua & Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Micronesia, Nauru, Northern Mariana, Palau, Saint Kitts & Nevis, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Suriname, Tuvalu, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vatican

I expect Malawi, Honduras and Bolivia as next to debut
The biggest never-playing nations are in asian south-east, in african horn and in "middle east"


I think there's an error here regarding North Korea. I think I saw on North Korean news that the North Korean rugby team had just won the Rugby World Cup for the 8th straight time, under the tournament MVP Kim Jong Un.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby ruckovercdn » Fri, 16 Oct 2015, 03:00

I heard he investmented it while visiting a uk school tonshow them how to teach.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby fullbackace » Fri, 16 Oct 2015, 03:56

What a shame for Morocco, They should never have been moved to the African division... There was no need really.. if UEFA lets Kazakstan and Israel play for Europe. why not make an exception for morocco.

but we can't expect a rugby governing body to make a right decision. they specialize in screwing things up honestly. most decisions they ever made involving lower tier countries hurt rugby more than it helped.


Canalina wrote:
amz wrote:Armenia would have been good to continue the development, maybe even by starting a team in Georgian championship. They should use their vicinity with such a developed rugby nation as Georgia.


Hansgrohe wrote:Shame rugby couldn't develop in Armenia, especially given the French based population and their Georgian neighbors

Georgia seems a drop of rugby fallen in the desert: there are not rugby nations near them, the nearer is Romania on the other side of the Black Sea some 800 km far I think. Azerbaijan, Armenia, south of Russia, even Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, the republics on the other side of the Caspian Sea are all poor or very poor of rugby. That makes Georgian rugby to appear even more a sort of "miracle"

I think there was an attempt to develop the game In Armenia and Azerbaijan by Georgians but It failed since there is virtually no interest in the sport there.. and Georgians would be reluctant to cross the border and play in those countries (regional rivals).


Although imho all they need to do is establish the game in one of those... another one will follow out of spite.
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Fri, 16 Oct 2015, 08:25

rampage wrote:I think there's an error here regarding North Korea. I think I saw on North Korean news that the North Korean rugby team had just won the Rugby World Cup for the 8th straight time, under the tournament MVP Kim Jong Un.

When he entered on the field there were two rugby balls in the sky
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby victorsra » Fri, 16 Oct 2015, 15:42

Bolivia has already a national championship of 15-a-side with 5 clubs. Their problem is not lack of players, but lack of money and organization (in fact, their Union is not already well structured... that's the problem).
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Amargo » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 21:52

Canalina wrote:An other of my not so interesting threads
in some nations instead rugby was never able to appear (Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Eritrea are the first coming to my mind)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5w0GG ... m3x8ZHfWuw
Maybe a first step.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 22:53

Amargo wrote:
(Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Eritrea…)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5w0GG ... m3x8ZHfWuw
Maybe a first step.

I didn't know them; here an explanation http://japan.stripes.com/news/us-milita ... ugby-pitch
They are koreans living and playing in Japan

Koryo RFC, a club of former students from North Korean schools in Japan […]
More than 600,000 ethnic Zainichi Koreans live in Japan, including many from the North who arrived before the Korean Peninsula was divided[…]
Koryo’s players are mostly second- and third-generation Koreans whose parents and grandparents came from both North and South.
[...]Rugby isn’t played in North Korea. However, there are plenty of teams in the South.


'Koryo' should be an ancient form for 'Korea'
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Hansgrohe » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 22:55

I highly doubt the DPRK will ever have a team; their government is quite xenophobic and might see rugby as a European/Japanese intrusion, and contrary to their cultural conservatism.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 23:03

Shouldn't be the same for every sport? If they play football, they may play rugby I think. I've read that the actual leader (Kim something, I never remember the names of grandpa, father and son) is a basketball fan and I don't think basket was created in North Korea (even if Rampage have read something different :) )
I hope the inclusion of 7s in the olympic program will make the difference
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Hansgrohe » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 23:06

Perhaps 7s might get them into the sport.
While modern football was invented in the UK the game has its origins from various games played throughout the world; so I imagine the leaders might feel that way. Also, the Kims have a pretty open obsession with the 90s Chicago Bulls, so they probably made an exception in that regard.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby fullbackace » Mon, 09 Nov 2015, 23:09

Hansgrohe wrote:Perhaps 7s might get them into the sport.
While modern football was invented in the UK the game has its origins from various games played throughout the world; so I imagine the leaders might feel that way. Also, the Kims have a pretty open obsession with the 90s Chicago Bulls, so they probably made an exception in that regard.


I heard it has roots in a Roman game that was played by their legions... that is why a very similar games were played all across Europe from Britain to Georgia in the middle ages.
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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sun, 15 Nov 2015, 07:45

Canalina wrote:
Amargo wrote:
(Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Eritrea…)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5w0GG ... m3x8ZHfWuw
Maybe a first step.

I didn't know them; here an explanation http://japan.stripes.com/news/us-milita ... ugby-pitch
They are koreans living and playing in Japan

Koryo RFC, a club of former students from North Korean schools in Japan […]
More than 600,000 ethnic Zainichi Koreans live in Japan, including many from the North who arrived before the Korean Peninsula was divided[…]
Koryo’s players are mostly second- and third-generation Koreans whose parents and grandparents came from both North and South.
[...]Rugby isn’t played in North Korea. However, there are plenty of teams in the South.


'Koryo' should be an ancient form for 'Korea'


That's right Canalina, Koryo is one of the ancient Kingdoms of what is present day Korea. One of the major universities and a top one on the South Korean rugby scene is also named Koryo University and they regularly come to the Surugadaira Plateau in Nagano in the Japan Alps for their summer camp and to play some Japanese uni teams. It may surprise many on this forum (It surprised me the first time I heard it and obviously the US military team's officer in the article!) but most Zainichi "in Japan" Koreans align themselves with the DPK rather than the ROK (South) and the "Chosen Koukou" or Korean High Schools in Japan have always been DPK aligned getting funding from the DPK govt, though that's apparently been slashed in the last few years according to Japanese media reports leaving those schools a bit more predisposed to not being so anti-Japan anymore. Not surprisingly it's been a prickly subject for the Japanese govt as well right from the time they were set up post-war. Infact those high schools were banned from being eligible to play Japanese inter-high regional and national sports champs until the start of the 90s.

Coincidentally Tokyo Chosen HS qualified for the All Japan HS Champs in December for the first time last week. As far as I know there's not been any Zainichi Koreans play for Japan (not surprising when you factor in the above). HB Kim who played in the 2007 RWC was actually South Korean who came to a Japanese HS on a rugby exchange and stayed (he still plays for Kintetsu). The only possible one is former Yamaha player So Kilryong who actually came into Yamaha from the Chosen University (I think it's in Tokyo) which also has/had DPK sympathies but he never played a test match, only the one game v Gloucester after he'd been called in as a tour replacement. Of course until recently it was almost a given that most Zainichi Koreans had Japanese names and it was only recently that I discovered quite a few entertainment figures and some Japanese pro baseball guys were/are actually Zainichi Koreans because they had Japanese names so basically there was no way to know. So maybe there are one or two rugby players that I don't know about with Japanese names. Now Japanese society has become more open to Korean culture and a lot more Zainichi people are having Korean names like So. And there are opportunities for Zainichi Koreans to go to top unis and get jobs in the public sector and in big corporates that until the late 90s were closed off to them (completely rascist on one hand, and understandable on the other if you didn't want someone with a strong likelihood of communist sympathies coming into your institution on the other) until after some big Japanese supreme court wins by Zainichi against the Japanese govt, various companies and universities.

Japanese language makes quite a big distinction between South Korea and North Korea. The South and southerners are Kankoku and Kankokujin. The North is KitaChosen and KitaChosenjin, and oh Koryo Rugby Club has been going for quite a long time. It's a well-established club. I remember seeing it's name in Japanese rugby mags back in the 90s. The only time I've ever seen any referral to North Korean rugby was in an old Rugby World mag late 90s/early 2000s in their world briefs section which said North Korea had about 10 teams and were getting ready to apply for ARFU membership, which as we all know never happened.

As far as new XVs debuts are concerned Iceland can't be far away.

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Re: The lost prodigal sons

Postby Canalina » Sun, 15 Nov 2015, 08:21

Thanks Yamaha. It's curious that many of them feel sympathies for communism even if their families left homeland before it was divided. I suppose that southern Korea was historically richer than the north and that in the poorer north communist ideas spread long before the civil war
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