Rugby Africa

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Rugby Africa
Rugby Afrique
Rugby Africa logo 2018.svg
Logo introduced in 2018
as CAR

Rugby Africa
TypeSports federation
37 unions
Khaled Babbou
Vice President
David Gilbert
Marcellin Zahui
Mervin Green
AffiliationsWorld Rugby

Rugby Africa, is the administrative body for rugby union within the continent of Africa under the authority of World Rugby, which is the world governing body of rugby union.

As of 2018, Rugby Africa has 37 member nations and runs several rugby tournaments for national teams, including the Africa Cup which is the main 15-a-side competition for African national teams.

Rugby Africa was founded in 1986 as the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) to promote, develop, organise and administer the game of rugby in Africa. It was renamed Rugby Africa in December 2014.[1]

The President of Rugby Africa is the Tunisian Khaled Babbou.

The main Official Partner of Rugby Africa, is the leading media relations' consulting firm in Africa and the Middle East, APO Group.[2][3]


Logo used 2015–2017.

The Confederation of African Rugby (French: Confédération Africaine de Rugby) was officially launched in January 1986 in Tunis. The inaugural members at the meeting were Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, the Seychelles, Tanzania and Tunisia. A meeting was held in July 1992 in Casablanca with the view of integrating the SARFU into the confederation. South Africa had been denied entry until this time because of the government policy of apartheid (South African rugby had been governed by the mainly white South African Rugby Board and the mainly black South African Rugby Union). In March 1992 these were formally combined to form the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU). The Confederation now has 37 member nations.

African Rugby Charter[edit]

The African Rugby Charter was signed by the President of CAR, Abdelaziz Bougja, the then President of the South African Rugby Union (SARFU) Brian van Rooyen, in the presence of former South African president Nelson Mandela, and the South African Minister of Sport, Makhenkesi Stofile.

We, the undersigned, hereby confirm our commitment to realising the potential of African rugby...
THAT, on this day, the creation of the African Leopards, Rugby Union in Africa will develop its own heroes and heroines;
THAT, developing rugby nations throughout Africa will be assisted with adequate human and physical resources to develop their playing potential at all levels;
THAT, every African boy and girl may soon have the opportunity to play the sport of Rugby Football.

— Signed on this 23rd day of July, 2005 at Johannesburg, South Africa.[4]

International competitions[edit]

The perpetual trophy awarded to the winner of the Africa Gold Cup since 2000.

Tournaments run by Rugby Africa include:

  • Africa Cup, for national men's fifteen-a-side teams played annually in several divisions:
    • Gold Cup: the highest tier contested by the top six national teams.
    • Silver Cup: second tier, split into North and South divisions of three teams each.
    • Bronze Cup: third tier contested by four teams.
    • Regional Challenge: fourth tier, split in two divisions of up to ten teams each.
  • Africa Men's Sevens – annual continental tournament for national seven-a-side teams
  • Africa Women's Sevens - annual continental tournament for national seven-a-side teams

Development programs[edit]

The CAR formed agreements in 2014 which allowed member unions from Anglophone and Francophone nations in Africa to access training programs within the sports academies and administrative headquarters of the South African Rugby Union and French Rugby Federation, respectively. These agreements, designed to foster rugby development across the continent, were signed in January 2015, and followed earlier arrangements with the SARU and French club Castres Olympique which were made in 2006.[5][6]


The following unions are members of World Rugby:[7][8]

World Rugby member unions
Union World Rugby membership
Status Date
Algeria Algeria Full member [9] 2021
Botswana Botswana Full member 1994
Burundi Burundi Full member [9] 2021
Ghana Ghana Full member [note 1] 2004
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast Full member 1988
Kenya Kenya Full member 1990
Madagascar Madagascar Full member 1998
Mauritius Mauritius Full member 2009
Morocco Morocco Full member 1988
Namibia Namibia Full member 1990
Nigeria Nigeria Full member 2001
Rwanda Rwanda Full member [note 2] 2004
Senegal Senegal Full member 1999
South Africa South Africa Full member 1949
Eswatini Eswatini Full member 1998
Tunisia Tunisia Full member 1988
Uganda Uganda Full member 1997
Zambia Zambia Full member 1995
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Full member 1987
Tanzania Tanzania Associate member 2004
Togo Togo Associate member 2004
Mali Mali Associate member 2004
Cameroon Cameroon Suspended [note 3] 1999
Mauritania Mauritania Suspended [note 4] 2003

In addition, the following unions are not members of World Rugby, but are either full or affiliate members of Rugby Africa, or non-member countries working with the governing body:[13]

Rugby Africa member unions
Union Rugby Africa status
Benin Benin Member
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Member
Chad Chad Member
Democratic Republic of the Congo DR Congo Member
Gabon Gabon Member [14]
Guinea Guinea Member
Lesotho Lesotho Member [14]
Malawi Malawi Member
Niger Niger Member
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone Member
Togo Togo Member
Cape Verde Cape Verde Non-member
Central African Republic Central Africa Non-member
Comoros Comoros Non-member
Republic of the Congo Congo Non-member
Egypt Egypt Non-member
Ethiopia Ethiopia Non-member
Libya Libya Non-member
Seychelles Seychelles Non-member
Mayotte Mayotte Non-member [note 5]
Réunion Réunion Non-member [note 6]
  • Notes:
  1. ^ Ghana joined World Rugby as an associate member in 2004, and became a full member in 2017.[10]
  2. ^ Rwanda joined World Rugby as an associate member in 2004, and became a full member in 2015.[11]
  3. ^ Cameroon joined World Rugby as a full member in 1999, but had their membership suspended in November 2013 due to "inactivity and a failure to meet criteria for continued membership".[12]
  4. ^ Mauritania joined World Rugby as a full member in 2003, but had their membership suspended in November 2013 due to "inactivity and a failure to meet criteria for continued membership".[12]
  5. ^ Mayotte is an overseas region of France and rugby is governed by a committee of the World Rugby-affiliated French Rugby Federation.
  6. ^ Réunion is an overseas region of France and rugby is governed by a committee of the World Rugby-affiliated French Rugby Federation.


The African Leopards are a representative team from Africa which aims to promote the sport throughout the whole of Africa. The Leopards played their first ever match in July 2005 at Ellis Park as a curtain raiser between Springboks and Australia.


  1. ^ "General Assembly 2014" (Press release). RA. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  2. ^ Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group and Abdelaziz Bougja, Chairman of World Rugby's African association, Rugby Africa during the signing ceremony of the agreement under which APO Group becomes the main Official Sponsor of Rugby Africa, at Royal Garden Hotel on November 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for APO Group). Getty Images. November 12, 2017.
  3. ^ APO Group becomes the Official Partner of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa. CNBC Africa. November 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Nauright, John; Parrish, Charles (2012). Sports Around the World. 1. ABC CLIO. p. 146. ISBN 9781598843002.
  5. ^ Ken Borland, CAR drives Rugby's growth through Africa. The Southern Times. 11 April 2014.
  6. ^ Agreements signed. Rugby Afrique. 6 January 2015.
  7. ^ "World Rugby Handbook" (PDF). World Rugby. 14 January 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Inside World Rugby". World Rugby. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Rugby's global expansion increases in Africa". World Rugby. 12 May 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Ghana welcomed as full member union of World Rugby" (Press release). World Rugby. 21 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Rwanda welcomed as full member union of World Rugby" (Press release). World Rugby. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Indonesia becomes full member and Brunei associate member of IRB as two African unions suspended". The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations. 21 November 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Unions - Rugby Afrique". Rugby Africa. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  14. ^ a b "General Assembly 2016" (Press release). Rugby Afrique. Retrieved 15 December 2016.

External links[edit]