Afghan Stars Bring Peace Through Rugby

Watch these little stars shine in the mud and in their shining hope, their fearlessness, their courage, their humour, their fun, their camaraderie, their desire to play rugby, a new sport in Afghanistan. The brotherhood of rugby means friends for life.

The Brotherhood of Rugby knows no bounds – from Afghanistan to distant Kiwi Lands

Although the sport is only 2 years old in Afghanistan, every day, the number of the players (male and female) increases as interest in the sport rapidly spreads in this war- torn country. Maybe because rugby is like the traditional Afghan sport, Buzkashi (goat grubbing by horsemen), mixed with two other popular Afghanistan sports: football and wrestling. In June rugby was presented to 600 girls from Kabul City’s Girls Schools. 100 wanted to join the training immediately. Soon the world will witness the foundation of the Afghan women’s rugby team.

Afghanistan Clay Pitch Palace in Background
Afghan kids love this game of rugby


Here Come The Horsemen, Footballers and Wrestlers

Many horsemen, footballers and wrestlers have already joined ARF (Afghanistan Rugby Federation) and they love it. From goat grabbing to ball grabbing to rugby – is a logical progression (and you don’t need to own a horse but you do need courage and a desire to play a new exciting team game).

Afghan Rugby 7s squad
From goat grabbing to ball grabbing to rugby, Afghans are natural rugby players


Rugby As A Tool For Peace

The aim of the Afghanistan Rugby Federation is to support youngsters who participate in sport against a backdrop of violence, conflict and suffering. ARF’s CEO, Asad Ziar says “We are trying to introduce rugby as a force in bringing about cultural change and democracy in a social situation. Sport will find a way to succeed since it is a tool for peace, prosperity and brotherhood.” Read this wonderful Afghanistan rugby article.

Afghan 7s Squad
The Afganistan Rugby 7s squad surprised everyone



Can The Brotherhood Of Rugby Help Afghanistan Rugby?

Rugby has a deep tradition of respect and camaraderie. ARF want to make rugby the most played sport in Afghanistan and encourage peace and harmony through sport. But they can only do this, if, they get support of the international rugby community, since, as a new sport in Afghanistan, it is not possible to find sponsors for their events and training clinics.


And this weekend the Afghan Men’s Rugby 7s team makes its first entrance in the West Asia Rugby 7s in Dubai – BUT without a coach. If you know anyone in rugby in Dubai – please ask them if they can find a volunteer 7s Rugby Coach just for the 1st Nov competition and any days training before. Dubai is becoming a great rugby venue with the Dubai 7s now one of the best 7s competitions in the world. Imagine coaching your own international Rugby 7s team (Afghanistan) in Dubai for the West Asia Rugby 7s?


Dubai 7s 2012
Rugby fans cheer anyone if they play good rugby

My experience at Dubai 7s 2012 was absolutely fantastic fun


The world rugby community welcomes Afghanistan. So if you know anyone that can either coach them this weekend or can help to support Afghanistan Rugby in any other way, at any other time, please contact  Asad Ziar, Chief Executive Officer of the Afghanistan Rugby Federation (ARF) & The Founder of Rugby in Afghanistan.

eMail:      Twitter @asadziar


NOTE: You can find out what happened by reading the comments below.

We actually found two volunteer coaches via this platform! The Afghan team went all the way! It’s a miracle story. Check out what actually happened as this story unfolded in the comments below. See how people responded and helped the Afghan team. This is the brotherhood of rugby. Absolutely magnificent.


Editor’s Note: See Top Rugby Coach (and former Irish international full back) Conor O’Shea: People Who Succeed Demonstrate The Greatest Sportsmanship & Jason Robinson talking while at the Dubai 7s about sportsmanship.

14 thoughts on “Afghan Stars Bring Peace Through Rugby

  1. As the CEO of Afghanistan Rugby Federation, I would like to thank Paul Smith & John McGrann of The Great Sportsmanship Programme for their support which leaded us to find cooperation from some volunteer coaches. We are proud that we have such people and such organization which are so much practical in helping others. Thanks and Thank you so much my friends for your very on time support and cooperation.

  2. Thanks to The Great Sportsmanship and we are proud to state that with their help we managed to find Nick Taylor & Ashley Robbins who are:
    1. RFU level 2 coach
    2. 10 years National league (Level 1 and 2) playing experience in the UK (Barnes, Canterbury, Birkenhead Park)
    3. Currently playing 1st XV with the Jebel Ali Dragons (No 1 team in the Gulf)
    4. Qualified PE teacher (UK) with 5 year’s experience

    It is great to have British Coaches in Dubai, UAE !!!!!

    • Yes well done to Nick Taylor and Ashley Robbins who have offered to coach the Afghan 7s team. And thanks to Haydon Kerr who spread the initial message (having already offered help on a different date). The brotherhood of rugby knows no bounds – Afghans, English, Irish, Kiwis & many more. Long may it continue. ~ Paul

  3. FANTASTIC news! Well done all for rallying to a VERY worthy cause and special thanks to Nick Taylor and Ashley Robbins for helping this very special team! Good luck all of you. Whatever the score, whatever the outcome – HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE TOURNAMENT!!!

    • Thanks Simon & well said. Hopefully we’ll get a few photos or video clips and post them later. I’ve never said it before, but am saying it now. “Up The Afghans!” we’re all cheering them on. And as you rightly say – enjoy every second of the tournament. ~ Paul

  4. Dear All, It is an honor to have supporters like you guys, I am sorry that I could not keep you guys updated about the event since I was unable to have access to internet. But all I can say is sorry and I am very much thankful to the “Great Sportsmanship Programme” for their very on time help and the coaches ” Nick Taylor & Ashley Robbins + 1 they did a wonderful job which without any doubt leaded us to victory against UAE by 33-00 and against Lebanon by 22-07. It was something that we were dreaming and it had come true and it got possible through Great Sportsmanship’s on time help. I am once again very thankful to Mr. Paul Smith & John McGrann for their wonderful cooperation and guidance.

    • Asad, it is an honour to have been able to help. We are absolutely delighted to hear you were coached and played and…….WON both games! Fantastic result. Yes thank you also to Nick and Ashley (and friend) – the global brotherhood of rugby is alive and well.

  5. Dear Paul & John,

    Hope you guys are doing well and everything is fine at your end.

    I really do not find words how to thank you guys, the coach that

    we find through Great Sportsmanship did a wonderful job , they

    showed the path of victory to our team and we beat UAE by 33

    – 00 and Lebanon by 22-07. Mr. Nick Taylor cam along with his

    two assistant coaches and did amazing coaching and represent

    Afghanistan in a manner which leaded us to victory.

    Thanks once again for your very on time help and cooperation

    and I am sorry that I could not make the loop on your page

    since I did not have access to net in Dubai, UAE.

    With Best Regards,

    Asad Ziar

    Chief Executive Officer

    Afghanistan Rugby Federation

    Founder of Rugby in Afghanistan

  6. Great article! Trying to develop rugby in Afghanistan with the youngsters is the way forward. And I gather that 3 volunteer coaches also helped the Afghan team in their recent trip to the West Asia 7s ….. So a big thanks to those volunteers and to all those at Great Sporstmanship who helped organise them!!

  7. Thanks to Great Sportsmanship and all those who helped us … We will request you people to please keep your cooperation and try to help us that we expand rugby to each and every province of Afghanistan and make it the most playing sport in Afghanistan.

Leave a Reply