The Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) is in the final stages of preparing to challenge Benin and Togo in the 2017 Rugby Africa Regional Challenge (RARC) tournament that will take place at the Accra Sports Stadium between 30 April and 7 May 2017.
The President of the GRFU, Mr Herbert Mensah, said in a statement from London that the national team, the Ghana Eagles, have worked hard to make Ghana proud in the annual regional tournament organised by Rugby Africa, the African governing body of World Rugby.
“Ghana Rugby has been working hard despite enormous challenges to get to this point where it successfully tendered to host this very important tournament on the African Rugby calendar,” Mensah said.
He continued to say, “We, the Ghana Eagles, have all intentions to ‘swoop in for the kill’ on both Benin and Togo with the primary objective to fly the flag of Ghana high.”
Rugby is the second biggest sport in the world after football. The Rugby World Cup in 2015 enjoyed a global audience of 120 million plus viewers and more than 6.6 million players across 120 countries participate in rugby on a regular basis.
This Rugby Africa tournament will have global exposure for Ghana as a country.
The RARC forms part of the annual Rugby calendar for Africa and the tournament will provide Ghana Rugby with the opportunity to promote to Group C that will be a big step towards eventual qualification for the coveted Rugby World Cup.
The first team, Benin, will arrive in Ghana on Friday the 28th of April and will face Ghana on Sunday 30 April at the Accra Sports Stadium with a scheduled kickoff time of 3pm.
Togo, who arrives on the first of May, will face Benin on Wednesday 3 May and Ghana on Sunday 7 May in the final encounter of the RARC Group West 1 Tournament.
One of the major challenges in hosting the tournament has been financial support from especially the government according to a spokesperson for Ghana Rugby.
The tournament was made possible with a grant from Rugby Africa and the support of especially Interplast and the Gino brands who have also sponsored Ghana Rugby during its 2016 Africa campaign.
Other contributions from Africa Mining Services (AMS) and eVerpure supplemented the budget while the GRFU was also able to get support from the Ghana Rugby family who contributed through a “Challenge Tournament Challenge” campaign launched by the Union.
While outdooring some of the promotional items such as media back drop banners and posters the Tournament Director, Mr Steve Noi, said that the further support from the Ghanaian community will be highly appreciated and will go a long way to help Ghanaians to feel proud to be Ghanaian.
The RARC is the first major international sports event on Ghanaian soil since President Nana Akufo Addo and his administration took control in December 2016.