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 the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that represented the Arabian Peninsula region 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.
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.
However, on 16 January 2009, the sport's international governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), 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 that of the UAE, which became a full IRB member in November 2012.
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.
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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 did not take part in the 2015 tournament qualifying as it had 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.
Former associate members of the AGRFU, Jordan and Lebanon played each other on 14 May 2010, the first match for both national teams. UAE became a full member of the IRB (now World Rugby) in 2012. Lebanon, Qatar, and Saudia Arabia are full members of Asia Rugby, while Jordan is an associate member.
- "Inaugural Asian Five Nations set for kick off". IRB.com. February 21, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- "Major boost for West Asia" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
- "UAE become 100th full member of the IRB -". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
- "Japan run 100 points past Kazakhstan". Scrum.com. 2010-05-15. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- "Membership". Asia Rugby. Retrieved 28 September 2015.