Rugby Africa’s President, Khaled Babbou, has met his counterparts at Rugby Europe and World Rugby in London to discuss the proposed World Rugby Nations Championship and its potential effect on tier two and three countries.
Babbou was joined by Rugby Europe’s Octavian Morariu in discussions with World Rugby’s President Bill Beaumont and chief executive Brett Gosper about the impact of the planned global competition on the lower levels of the game.
A Rugby Africa statement said: “The discussions touched on the future of Rugby in Africa, its immense potential and the strategies to keep growing the game in Africa and improving performance at the same time.
“According to Mr Babbou, the encounter was a good platform to give his vision for the growth and development of rugby in Africa as well as the challenges to Mr Beaumont and Mr Gosper and to touch base on the shared mission and vision of both bodies to grow the global rugby family and to make it a sport for all, true to its values of integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect.”
Babbou said: “As one of the fastest-growing regional associations of World Rugby, the meeting served to confirm Rugby Africa’s commitment to grow and develop rugby on the African continent with its huge untapped potential despite the challenges it is facing.”
Herbert Mensah, President of Ghana Rugby and a member of Rugby Africa’s executive committee, was invited to join the Rugby Africa EXCO in Marrakesh, Morocco, at its 13th General Assembly to contribute his experience in building commercial value for Rugby Africa.
"Both the formal and informal discussions laid the platform for Rugby Africa to work closely with its governing body, World Rugby, in chasing shared objectives and to open the doors for further discussions on support for a continent that has enormous scope for growth,” said Babbou.
Both Babbou and Mensah believe the major challenge will be to establish sustainable funding for the development and tournament programmes of Rugby Africa as well as funding that will go beyond that to support its high-performance unions to excel once it enters the global stage.