Arabian Gulf rugby union team
|Union||Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union|
|Arabian Gulf 20 - 64 Namibia
Arabian Gulf 21 – 19 South Korea
|Arabian Gulf 97 - 3 India
| Japan 114 - 6 Arabian Gulf
The Arabian Gulf rugby union team was a combined team of players from Arab States of the Persian Gulf — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that represented the Arabian Peninsula area in international rugby union competitions. The team competed in international matches between 1993 and 2010, and was governed by the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union (AGRFU). Associate members were Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.
As early as 2007, rumours of a break-up of the Arabian Gulf side surfaced, with Qatar participating separately in the 2007 Asia Rugby Cup in Sri Lanka. These rumours were apparently quashed with the Arabian Gulf team recently expanding to add the three associate nations. However, the eventual breakup was later confirmed; on 16 January 2009, the sport's international governing body, the International Rugby Board, announced that the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union, which organised the national team, would be split into separate national unions and would cease to exist by the end of 2010. The first new union to be formed was expected to be that of the UAE.
The team's final tournament before the breakup was the 2010 Asian Five Nations, which doubled as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Arabian Gulf team won two of their four matches, including a 21–19 win in their final match in history at The Sevens in Dubai against Korea.
Asian Five Nations
The Arabian Gulf participated in the highest tier of the inaugural 2008 Asian Five Nations alongside Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Kazakhstan. After losing all four of their matches and subsequently finishing last, the team was relegated to Division One for the 2009 tournament. The team proceeded to win Division One in 2009, securing promotion to the Asian Five Nations for 2010.
World Cup record
- 1987 - Not invited
- 1991 - Did not qualify.
- 1995 - Did not qualify.
- 1999 - Did not qualify.
- 2003 - Did not qualify.
- 2007 - Did not qualify. (See 2007 Rugby World Cup - Asia qualification)
- 2011 - Did not qualify. (See 2011 Rugby World Cup – Asia qualification)
The team will not take part in the 2015 tournament qualifying as it shall have been broken up by then.
Although Arabian Gulf's women never played test match rugby, they were at the time one of the most active international sevens rugby teams, taking part in the first ever women's tournament in 1997, playing over 70 internationals between 1997 and 2010. At the time they were 10th busiest team in the world.
- "Major boost for West Asia" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
- "Japan run 100 points past Kazakhstan". Scrum.com. 2010-05-15. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- "Inaugural Asian Five Nations set for kick off". IRB.com. February 21, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.