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(In April, the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be played in Australia. Rugby 7s will be a competitive sport. Zambia will make its Commonwealth Games rugby debut. Rugby Today initiated a Q and A with Clement Sinkamba, President, Zambia Rugby Union.)
RUGBY TODAY - When was rugby first played in Zambia?
A. Rugby was first introduced by the British, owing to Zambia being a British Colony in the late 1930s. Later, as copper mines sprang up in the early 1960s, expatriate miners from Britain, Australia and South Africa set up rugby structures in their various localities and began playing some form. In the late 1970s, a few Zambians from the schools started breaking through the ranks to embrace it. Today 90% of the clubs are populated with native Zambians. The game remains an amateur sport.
RUGBY TODAY - When was the first match against another nation and in what year?
A. The first recorded international match was played in August 1975 between East Africa and Zambia. Score: Zambia 18 - East Africa 15.
RUGBY TODAY - Beginning of Zambia Rugby Football Union (ZRFU). When? How many clubs?
A. Zambia Rugby Football Union became a member of IRB (World Rugby) in 1995 with initially 8 Registered Clubs. Today, there are 16 clubs in the country.
RUGBY TODAY - How many players today?
A. Currently, there are 10,200 registered players across all age groups. Men 1,600, Women 200, Youths 8,400 (Boys 7,700 and Girls 700).
RUGBY TODAY - Main rival nation in Africa?
A. Zimbabwe, our neighboring country, has always been the main rival.
RUGBY TODAY - Who designed the uniform?
A. The 2018 Zambia 7s and 15s unfiorms - and the tournament-specific Commonwealth Games kit - was designed by Fortress Sports Gear a Zambian brand in partnership with a UK firm
RUGBY TODAY – What’s the future after Zambia’s first rugby participation in Commonwealth Games?
- To compete in the Men’s World 7s Circuit/Series (HSBC);
- To qualify for the 15s Africa Gold Cup competition and compete for the World Cup;
- To compete for qualification for the Olympic Games;
- To compete to remain in the Top 4 Africa 7s (Men and Women); and,
- To have a competitive Youth Team to compete in the Africa Youth Games.