Arabian Gulf rugby union team
UnionArabian Gulf Rugby Football Union
Nickname(s)Arugby, Soundos
Coach(es)Matt Trail
Captain(s)David Clark
Team kit
First match
Arabian Gulf 20 - 64 Namibia 
3 July 1993[1]
Last international
Arabian Gulf 21 – 19 South Korea 
14 May 2010[2]
Largest win
Arabian Gulf 97 - 3 India 
27 April 2001[3]
Largest defeat
 Japan 114 - 6 Arabian Gulf
3 May 2008[4]

The Arabian Gulf rugby union team was a combined team of players that represented the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in international rugby union competitions. The team competed in international matches between 1993 and 2010,[2] and was governed by the Arabian Gulf Rugby Football Union (AGRFU). Associate members were Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

The Arabian Gulf participated in the highest tier of the inaugural 2008 Asian Five Nations alongside Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Kazakhstan.[5] After losing all four of their matches and subsequently finishing last, the team was relegated to Division One for the 2009 tournament. The team proceeded to win Division One in 2009, securing promotion to the Asian Five Nations for 2010.[citation needed]

However, on 16 January 2009, the sport's international governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), announced that the AGRFU – and the combined Arabian Gulf team – would be split into separate national entities and cease to exist by the end of 2010. The first new union to be formed was that of the UAE, which became a full IRB member in November 2012.[6][7]

The team's final tournament before the breakup was the 2010 Asian Five Nations, which doubled as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Arabian Gulf team won two of their four matches, including a 21–19 win in their final match in history at The Sevens in Dubai against Korea.[2]

World Cup record

The team did not take part in the 2015 tournament qualifying as it had been broken up by then.[2]

Women's rugby

Although Arabian Gulf's women never played test match rugby, they were at the time one of the most active international sevens rugby teams, taking part in the first ever women's tournament in 1997, playing over 70 internationals between 1997 and 2010.[citation needed]

Successor teams

Former associate members of the AGRFU, Jordan and Lebanon played each other on 14 May 2010, the first match for both national teams.[citation needed]

The UAE Rugby Federation,[6] and the respective federations of Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all subsequently joined Asia Rugby in their own right.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Arabian Gulf v Namibia". ESPN scrum. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Japan run 100 points past Kazakhstan". 2010-05-15. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
  3. ^ "Asian Rugby Championship 2001". ESPN scrum.
  4. ^ "Japan v Arabian Gulf". ESPN scrum.
  5. ^ "Inaugural Asian Five Nations set for kick off". February 21, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Major boost for West Asia" (Press release). International Rugby Board. 2009-01-16. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  7. ^ "UAE become 100th full member of the IRB -". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Membership". Asia Rugby. Retrieved 28 September 2015.