TO WIN YOU MUST TRY
TO WIN YOU MUST TRY
Our first game of rugby was probably about two decades ago, played by a few members of the British Army as this is typically how the game spread to the far corners of the world. Over time, as Jordanians joined in or brought back their knowledge of the game from their time being abroad; rugby started to gain popularity. The early days saw games played on sand pitches and eventually we had mini competitions like the Prince Abdullah Trophy (later became known as the King Abdullah Trophy) where Amman Rugby F.C would take on teams from Cyprus, Lebanon, Egypt and even Fiji. Fast forward several years later and, under the guidance of Coach Duaine, the Jordan national Team was formed and took part in their first competitive match in 2010, and a year later took part in their first tournament, which they went on to win (ARC Division IV).
The JRC was formed a couple of years after that and Jordan began its ascend to where it is today: with four clubs, a rapidly growing community of players and the foundations in place for an ambitious plan to become full members of World Rugby and hopefully take part in future World Cup competitions.
The National Team was officially formed back in 2008, appointing Raymond "Duaine" Lindsay as their Head Coach and a few coaching staff from Scotland. For the first couple of years, Jordan would play some friendlies here and there, including a few games against Bahrain, until 2010, were they played their first competitive match against Lebanon. Even though they had lost that match by a thin margin, Coach Duaine and his team moved on from that defeat to go on and win the Asian 5 Nations Division IV in 2011, beating Mongolia, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan. This was quite a remarkable achievement to say the least, a relatively new team, with only a a couple of competitive matches under their belt. Since then it's been a bumpy ride, with the team struggling financially and the players struggling with balancing their commitments between work and playing the sport. To read more about the adventures of the National Team, check out our segments in the Jordan Rugby Weekly, were you can read about the players and their experiences.
Jordan's Captain from 2010 to 2012 was Saleh Fleifel, preceded by Zaid Arabiat in 2013 and then by Mohammed AlMajed in 2015. This year Coach Koki takes over the reigns with a new approach. His team is young, determined and ready for the new challenges ahead. Jordan played host the West Asia Championship in late April, were they played against Saudi Arabia and UAE Shaheen for the title. After two landslide victories they were crowned Champions yet again, putting a glorious seal to the 15's season of 2015/16. Now we are about to embark on a new chapter and the next season starts with the 7's series both on a domestic and international level.
Domestic competitions form the backbone of rugby development; regular game time for the players and more exposure for the general public will no doubt reap huge benefits for the future of Jordan Rugby.
We had an excellent 2015/16 season, with so many landmarks added to our progress in developing the game, but most of all it was great fun for everyone involved. We welcomed two new teams to the 15's Premiership, which went on for five weeks with two matches each game-day. This coming season (2016/17) we hope to have a bigger 7's series in both Amman and Aqaba, with lots more effort put into developing a youth league for the clubs. Watch this space for more updates on the new season.
Asia has the largest number of youth participation in the game and Jordan Rugby is keen to be an integral part of this success.
Back in 2014 we started implementing the GIR programme to get a few schools involved in our sport. A year later we organised a festival to get those new teams playing. April saw the advent of the Youth Championships, which consisted of 16 teams competing across age groups varying between 9 and 17 years old.
Our clubs now have their own youth teams and we hope to get them playing throughout the year, as well as, establishing an U16 and U18 National Team for both boys and girls. A few initiative will be rolled out during 2017 in collaboration with World Rugby and Asia Rugby that will help boost our participation figures and develop the game as a whole.
This season we are also keen on working with local charity organisations and NGO's to support us with our Touch Jordan Rugby programme, aimed at reaching out to the areas that are usually excluded or out of range from our rugby activities. We believe that, along with our rugby education courses run from the Jordan Rugby Academy, we can empower anyone who is enthusiastic about doing something positive for their community, through the beautiful game of rugby.
WE LIVE BY THE VALUES THAT DEFINE OUR GAME
WE LIVE BY THE VALUES THAT DEFINE OUR GAME
In contact rugby the element of respect is crucial. When you square up to your competition on the pitch, you know that the respect between you is mutual. This is the code we abide, this is why we love this game.
Rugby can't be played unless it's played with integrity, without it, the game would simply turn into a savage contest. A good example of this is when there is a ruck, the players have to adopt a high level of sportsmanship to make it possible.
Anyone who plays rugby will tell you the same thing, it's a brotherhood and your team is another family. This goes beyond the playing field and thats why we use rugby as a way of spreading the message of peace. In our national team we have players from different backgrounds, but we all wear the same jersey, we are all one of the same. Jordan is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world and our game was destined to thrive here.
They used to say that rugby is a beastly game played by gentlemen, but since then, rugby has evolved into more than just a game: its a way of life, a passion and a discipline matched by few team sports.
Rugby is a sport for everyone, all age groups and any gender. If you can pick up a rugby ball, run with it, pass it or score a try, then you're half way to calling your self a rugby player. How you stop your opponent and what you play for is your choice. If rugby is your method of releasing some healthy aggression, then full contact rugby is your game. Maybe you just want to push your fitness to a new level, experience the bond of being part of a team, but don't like the rough and tumble of full contact, then tag or touch rugby is your match.
Jordan Rugby has all the different forms of rugby covered and their calendar is packed full of events: be it games, training sessions, tournaments or friendly cups; all you need is the desire to play and the intention to adopt the core values that define our game: integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline.
Ahmad Hammouqah was appointed Head Coach of the National Team in 2015. At only 25, what he's achieved through rugby has been nothing short of remarkable. He has represented his country since the first National Team was formed back in 2008 and his story is an inspiration to anyone with a passion for sport, be it rugby or any other. Every week, Coach Koki will be sharing some of his insight of the game via our Jordan Rugby Weekly section.
Mohammed AlMajed is one of the key figures in Jordan Rugby. As Co-founder of Nomads RC, he has led the club to dominate the Domestic Leagues with an unprecedented 7 consecutive championship titles in both the 15's Premiership and the 7's Premiership. One of his most crucial contributions to Jordan Rugby, is through his role as Director of Youth Development.
Zaid Arabiat is one of Jordan's most revered rugby players. He has been playing the game for over 12 years and in his first ever match he was awarded MVP. As well as the captain of Citadel RFC, he is also a candidate for the captaincy of the National Team, a role he relishes as the leader and protector of his team. Zaid was appointed Captain of the National Team in 2013 and 2014 and 2016.