Shirt badge/Association crest
EmblemThe Rose of Sharon
UnionKorea Rugby Union
Head coachLee Myung-geun
CaptainLee Jin-kyu
Most capsBack Kwang-soo (26)
Home stadiumIncheon Namdong Asiad Rugby Field
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current30 (as of 20 March 2023)
First international
 Taiwan 15–9 Korea 
(March 8, 1969)
Biggest win
 Korea 135–3 Malaysia 
(September 20, 1992)
Biggest defeat
 Tonga 119–0 Korea 
(March 22, 2003)
Best resultRepechage 2
Old logo
Top 30 as of 15 July 2024[1]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Steady  South Africa 093.11
2 Steady  Ireland 092.12
3 Steady  New Zealand 090.37
4 Steady  France 086.96
5 Steady  England 085.40
6 Steady  Scotland 082.82
7 Steady  Argentina 081.64
8 Increase1  Italy 078.98
9 Decrease1  Australia 078.70
10 Steady  Fiji 077.44
11 Steady  Wales 076.04
12 Increase2  Georgia 074.36
13 Steady  Samoa 073.65
14 Decrease2  Japan 072.63
15 Increase1  Portugal 070.61
16 Decrease1  Tonga 070.58
17 Steady  Uruguay 067.39
18 Steady  United States 066.01
19 Steady  Spain 064.37
20 Steady  Romania 062.62
21 Increase1  Canada 061.87
22 Decrease1  Chile 061.39
23 Steady  Namibia 060.23
24 Steady  Hong Kong 059.52
25 Steady  Russia 058.06
26 Steady   Switzerland 057.44
27 Steady  Netherlands 057.29
28 Steady  Belgium 055.63
29 Steady  Brazil 055.37
30 Steady  Zimbabwe 052.43
* Change from the previous week

The South Korea national rugby union team, (Korean: 대한민국 럭비 유니언 국가대표팀, Daehanminguk reogbi yunieon gukga daepyo tim) recognized as Korea by World Rugby, has yet to make their debut at the Rugby World Cup.

Korea were at their peak in the 1980s, where they won 3 consecutive Asian championships (defeating full-strength Japan squads), and even managed to play a test against the Wallabies. Korea reached the repechage round of qualification for the 1999, 2003, and 2007 Rugby World Cups, being eliminated by Tonga each time. They also failed to qualify for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. They did not qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Korea participated in the 2008 Asian Five Nations, the inaugural Asian Five Nations.


It is unknown when rugby was first played in Korea. During the mid-19th century, European sailors are recorded as playing some of the earliest games in north east Asia, in ports such as Shanghai and Yokohama in neighbouring China and Japan, but it is unclear whether this occurred in Korea itself. However, it seems certain it had some presence by the mid-20th century. Korea was to become occupied by Japan, the main rugby playing nation of Asia, and it could well have been introduced then. In the amateur days, South Korea maintained a fierce rivalry with Japan.[2]

After World War II, and later, during the period of the Korean War, the large influx of troops from Commonwealth countries cemented its presence.[2] One legacy of this is that South Korean rugby has traditionally been strongest in the army.[2]

However, South Korean rugby has a second string to its bow. The massive growth of the economy since the 1960s, meant that a number of Korean corporations were to set up company teams along the lines of those in Japan, and this has broken up the former dominance of the military.[2]

South Korea made a failed attempt to have rugby union at the Olympic Games readmitted, when they hosted the games in Seoul.[3] Roh Tae-woo, who was South Korean president at the time, had been a player.[4] South Korea have emerged as an important rugby nation in Asia, since they won the Asian Championship in 1990.[2]

Despite having never qualified for a Rugby World Cup, South Korea were represented in 1995 in South Africa, with Han Moon-soo refereeing the fixture between France and the Ivory Coast.[5]

Notable players include

Expatriate rugby

Expatriate rugby was first played in Korea in 1972. An expat team called the Seoul Wanderers were formed to give opposition to both the local university teams and stationed army teams. This team was made up of players from the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. The team was disbanded in 1976. However, the void caused by a lack of rugby was soon to be filled. In late 1977 Billy Cornett and Brad Handley got together and decided to form a new expat club - the Seoul Survivors. The club is still around today.[6]

Other Expatriate clubs include the Busan Bandits Rugby Football Club (based in Busan), the Ulsan Goblins Rugby Club (based in Ulsan) and the Stars & Stripes Korea Rugby Club (based in Pyeongtaek).

Current squad

South Korea squad for the 2024 Asian Rugby Championship. Caps updated 23 May 2024.

South Korean Squad[7]
Name Position Caps Club
Yang Keun Seob Loosehead Prop 0 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Shin Ji Min 0 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Kim Tae Woo 0 South Korea Sangmu
Choi Ho Young Hooker 4 South Korea Sangmu
Lee Seung Eun 0 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Park Gun Woo 0 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Park Ye Chan Tighthead Prop 3 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Won Jung Ho 2 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Seo Tae Pung 0 South Korea Sangmu
Kim Sang Jin Lock 5 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Park Joon Beom 2 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Lee Hyeon Je 0 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Seo Jong Soo 0 South Korea Sangmu
Yoo Jae Hoon Back row 9 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Kim Yo Han 4 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Hwang Jeong Wook 1 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Kim Chan Ju 0 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Yoo Gi Jung 0 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Heo Jae Jun Scrumhalf 0 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Kang Min Jun 0 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Jung Bu Hyon Flyhalf 1 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Ko Seung Jae 0 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Mun Jeong Ho Center 6 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Lee Jin Kyu 0 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Lee Yong Un 0 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Jeong Yeon Sik Outside Back 15 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Shin Min Su 1 South Korea Hyundai Glovis
Kim Chan Deul 0 South Korea OK Financial Group Okman
Baek Jong Eun 1 South Korea Hyundai Glovis


  1. ^ "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 15 July 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p70
  3. ^ Rugby at the 1924 Olympics, retrieved 19 August 2009
  4. ^ a b Famous Ruggers by Wes Clark and others, retrieved 19 August 2009
  5. ^ https://www.rugbydatabase.co.nz/referee/gamesList.php?refereeId=290
  6. ^ "The Club". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
  7. ^ Hinato (2024-05-14). "Le groupe sud-coréen pour l'Asia Rugby Championship 2024". Asierugby (in French). Retrieved 2024-05-21.