Rugby Scene In The Capital

Rugby%20Show.bmpRugby is a fantastic sport. Why I like it more, is because you have to face your opponent head on (well most of the time) especially during scrums. As a matter of fact, software guys like it so much that they have named an enitire development lifecyle process after it, scrum that is. Anyway, getting back to the point, for some crazy people like me who actually enjoy the sport (watching from a safe distance that is), would like to know what’s all about it in Islamabad. Surprisingly, there is pretty much of it, read on to find out.

Rugby in Pakistan to most of our surprises has almost eighty years of history to it. It began as far back as 1926 when the Karachi Rugby Football Club was formed. The game remained exclusively an expatriate sport, with the Karachi club active in the All-India circuit up till the late fifties. The sixties saw a decrease in the expatriate population and travel to India becoming more regulated, therefore the club became more reliant on playing fixtures with visiting British Navy Ships, at a time when Karachi had become a regular port of call for R&R and picking up supplies. By 1968/1969 fortunately a handful of local players were introduced into the club: this would prove to be the saving grace for the game in the country. By the mid seventies the British Navy reduced its presence in the Indian Ocean and port visits became infrequent, and by the early eighties Rugby had become almost non-existent.

Whilst some experienced local players established clubs in Lahore and Karachi, staff from foreign embassies, commissions and banks, consisting of Frenchmen, British, and some Americans, established a club in Islamabad. 1992 onwards has seen regular fixtures between teams from these cities. By the mid-nineties an Islamabad club consisting mainly of local players had also been established in addition to the side made up of expatriates; the latter passes through phases of dormancy subject to postings and availability of players. There are three major clubs in Pakistan. Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi have been hosting, on a rotating basis, the Pakistan 7’s Championship. Thirteen such tournaments have been held so far.

The Islamabad Rugby Football Club (IRFC) also known as the “JINNS”. We also have a rugby ground here in F-10 , where you can also play under the lights if you want to.

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