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Afghanistan to send rugby team to Bournemouth Sevens tournament
5:00pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Latest
THE Afghanistan Rugby Federation is planning to send a team to the Bournemouth Sevens.
The federation was only registered a year and a half ago and this is the first time it has played abroad, The trip is being funded by a London-based events firm called Chilli Sauce and the tournament will be held from June 1-3.
Afghanistan rugby federation chief executive Asad Ziar said: “We are looking forward to coming to Britain and playing in the tournament.
“Everybody is ready and we all love the UK. It is rugby’s spiritual birth place.”
Roger Woodall, director of the Bournemouth Sevens, told the Daily Echo: “We will be delighted to have them over here.
“We have been told they are more than happy to come and play their part in a festival atmosphere and it’s good to see new countries coming through.
“We understand they are waiting to hear back from the embassy over the visas.”
Adrian Simpson, a former Top Gear host who runs Chilli Sauce, said: “The Afghan players are massive and can handle themselves.
“They love rugby and have been leaving other sports such as football to play it.”
Entertainment off the field includes live music, a VIP lounge and acres of picturesque fields.
The Afghans held barefoot squad trials and played in a seven a side tournament in Kabul. The opposition included the New Zealand SAS team.
And opponents should beware – the Afghan national sport is buzkashi, a type of aggressive polo with a headless goat, so rugby may seem rather tame.
Team captain Mustafa Sadat, 24, said: “One day, inshallah (God willing), we will play in the World Cup.”