Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rugby team set for world stage

Rugby team set for world stage

Rugby team set for world stage

Cambodia's national rugby team will enter the realm of world rugby May 22 when the

players travel to Hong Kong for their first international match.

The 22-strong squad are facing Macau in a curtain raiser for the Rugby World Cup

qualifying match between Hong Kong and Korea.

The team has been training intensely for the past two months, and coach Hawea Tomoana

hopes the players' speed and mobility will be enough to tire out the Macau national

team, who he assumes will be bigger.

"Enthusiasm is the strength of the team right now," he says.

Macau has only played one previous international match, which they won convincingly

against Pakistan last year, an admirable feat for a team without a home field to

train or play on.

The match will be a reward for the progress made over the past five years since a

small group of rugby-mad expatriates introduced the sport to Cambodia.

Began as an NGO program for children living near the Stung Meanchey rubbish dump,

rugby was so popular that Tan Theany, the Secretary-General of the National Commission

of UNESCO, incorporated the sport into Cambodian schools.

Theany, now also the president of the Cambodian Federation of Rugby, says the sport

is ideal for youth to learn to communicate, co-operate, organize and respect the


"The qualities required in rugby are favourites of the Khmer people who are

fond of fighting, challenging and running," Theany says. "The youngsters

have immediately adopted the sport even before knowing all the subtleties of the


After the Hong Kong match, the team will return and focus on their next international

game against Laos, scheduled for late June in Vientiane.

Two expatriate teams will aslo travel to Laos to compete in the Indochina Cup


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman