A global snapshot of what’s going on

Dublin – Ireland, Oct 02, 2012: AROUND, North America/Caribbean: In an amazing story that demonstrates the great spirit of Rugby and highlights the character of one of the Game’s more remarkable players, Canadian broadcaster CBC profiles Lindsay Hilton, scrum-half for Halifax Tars in Nova Scotia, who was born without any limbs. Despite this obvious disability, Lindsay competes against able-bodied players and, as you will see, she more than holds her own. For more information about Rugby in North America and the Caribbean go to www.nacrugby.com


On October 12, it will be 10 years since three bomb blasts in Bali took the lives of 202 people, including 27 members of the Rugby family, being players and supporters at the 2002 Bali 10s tournament. The tournament was not the intended target of the attack but a number of clubs were directly affected nonetheless, including Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC), Singapore Cricket Club (SCC), Taipei Baboons and International Sports Club of Indonesia. And the effects of the bombing were felt right across the global Rugby world.

The 2012 Bali Rugby Fest will take place from October 13-14 and is set to be an emotional time for all involved. The tournament will feature 34 teams, including 20 in the Open Men’s category, eight Indonesian men’s Sevens teams and six teams in the Open Women’s section. Family members of some of those killed in the bombings will be present over the weekend as well as many friends of those who were lost.

In addition, Indonesian Rugby and Bali Rugby are planning a memorial service at 10:00 on Friday October 12 at the Rugby memorial which is located at the Grand Bali Beach Hotel in Sanur, where the Bali 10s tournament used to be held. The festival is expected to be a poignant but also fun-filled weekend of remembrance of the lives lost and a celebration of the spirit of camaraderie through Rugby.

Also on October 12, there will be a memorial service at HKFC’s temperance wall in Hong Kong while the club’s players will wear a Bali memorial logo for the entire 2012-13 season.

In 2006, Polly Miller, who was badly injured but survived the blasts in Bali and who lost her Rugby-playing husband, Dan, and several friends in the attack, won the IRB Spirit of Rugby Award for her charity work in helping people with burns. Find out more about Rugby in Asia at www.arfu.com


The global qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England is gathering pace and this month teams from across Europe will join the party. Hungary will host Bulgaria in Kecskemét, situated 80km from the capital Budapest on October 6 in a match that will signify the beginning of a European process involving 32 nations and around 100 matches over two years.

In 2010, Georgia, Russia and Romania advanced from the FIRA-AER European Nations Cup to secure places at New Zealand 2011 after a captivating qualification process and this time around is set to be just as exciting as Spain and RWC 2007 qualifier Portugal will also be looking to secure places having missed out last time.

It is the first time that Hungary or Bulgaria have been involved in the opening regional qualification match and with the Webb Ellis Cup and England Rugby 2015 (ER 2015) Ambassador Lawrence Dallaglio in attendance, the match will provide the perfect opportunity to showcase the passion and strong support that the Game receives outside the traditional heartlands.

It will also be a significant occasion for Rugby World Cup 2015 organisers, who aim to inspire greater interest and participation within Europe through Rugby’s showcase event. For more information go to www.fira-aer-rugby.com

South America

And the road to England 2015 continues apace in South America, too, with Paraguay progressing through the latest round of qualifiiers by beating Bermuda 29-14 in the capital, Asuncion.

On what was a great day for rugby in the region, some 3,000 people packed into the Club Universitario ground with the home side not in a mood to disappoint. Paraguay will now play Brazil in Sao Paulo on October 27. For more information on Rugby World Cup 2015 go towww.rugbyworldcup.com For more information on South American Rugby go to www.consur.org.


The South African Rugby Union is hosting the global Rugby family in Cape Town this week for key IRB meetings, including the IRB Executive Committee, IRB Rugby Committee and Rugby World Cup Limited Board meeting.

Indeed, it is an exciting month for the region, which last weekend delivered the latest qualifiers for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013 in Russia. Zimbabwe and Tunisia’s men have qualified via the CAR qualifier in Morocco, while Tunisia succeeded Uganda to qualify for the 16-team women’s competition and in doing so, make history as the first North African women’s team to qualify for the showcase event, underlining the advances in competition in global women’s Rugby. For information about African Rugby go to www.confederation-africaine-rugby.com


Women’s Rugby in Oceania will receive a major boost this month with the staging of the IRB Accelerated High Performance Women’s Rugby Programme in Sydney from October 15-17 as part of the IRB Administrator’s Academy. The programme curriculum is designed to assist Unions develop and deliver a structured high-performance (HP) plan for women’s Rugby.

This programme will be attended by representatives from eight Oceania Unions and eight Asian Unions. In all, they will be there from Australia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand and Tonga.

In addition, the programme will deliver strategic awareness to assist in developing strategies for funding women’s HP plans in partnership with national Olympic committees, governments and other potential funders. The IRB will support the implementation of the Unions’ plans by monitoring and advising through regional staff and the IRB Women’s Development Manager.

Meanwhile, the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series kicks off in October with the first leg of the series taking place on the Gold Coast of Australia from October 13-14. Regional qualifier Tonga joins the core teams from Oceania, namely Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa, and have been drawn in a tricky pool with the Aussies, Fijians and Scotland. Australia defeated Samoa in a tense final at last month’s Oceania Sevens Championship in Sydney and captain Ed Jenkins believes that this has filled the team with confidence ahead of the series opener at home.

“There is a great feeling in the group at the moment, we’ve had some good training camps and the win at the Oceania Sevens has certainly given us a lot of belief,” he said. For information about Oceania Rugby go to www.oceaniarugby.com —- IRB

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