Ghana Rugby left no stone unturned to build on its 2018 Rugby Africa Bronze Cup (Bronze Cup) victory over Mauritius by holding a series of coaching sessions by Mr Collin Osborne, the UK based Skills Coach of Harlequins FC.
Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of Ghana Rugby, invited Mr Osborne to Ghana to observe the Bronze Cup and to identify areas for improvement. Osborne’s stay was kindly sponsored by the Golden Tulip Accra who also played a major role as a sponsor during the Bronze Cup.
“Collin is an exceptional Rugby Coach and it made a lot of sense to bring him to Ghana at this crucial moment of our history to help us to fulfil our mission of entering the global stage of global rugby,” Mensah said.
The Harlequin Football Club (Harlequins or Quins for short) are an English rugby union team who play in the top level of English rugby, the English Premiership. Their ground in London is the Twickenham Stoop. They were one of the founding members of the RFU.
Quins were crowned winners of the European Challenge Cup in 2011, the English Premiership for the first time in 2012 and won the LV= Cup in 2013.
The training sessions conducted by Osborne at the Accra Sports Stadium over a five day period included training and education for women’s sevens teams, “Get Into Rugby” Development Officers, Ghana Rugby Club Coaches and the Ghana national team, the Ghana Eagles.
All those who attended the training sessions were grateful for the additional insights into the essential fundamentals of playing and coaching rugby and expressed their gratitude to the Ghana Rugby President and to Osborne.
Osborne said that it was tough for a person not used to the tropical heat of Ghana but that it was an honour and privilege to have become part of an incredible success story of a small Rugby Union that has achieved an enormous lot in a very short space of time.
“I take my hat off to Herbert Mensah and his team to have achieved what they achieved against many odds. The story of Ghana Rugby is already worth talking about, but I believe the first chapter has not even been written yet,” Osborne said.
Mensah took over the reins of Ghana Rugby on 5 June 2014 after eleven years in which there were not a lot to write home about. Since that date in fewer than four years, Ghana Rugby achieved to host and win two Rugby Africa tournaments including the Bronze Cup and to be awarded full membership of World Rugby.
In addition, the Union managed to convince Rugby Africa to allow it into the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens tournament and in October 2017 it secured a spot in Kampala-Uganda for this year’s twelve team tournament scheduled to take place in Tunisia in October.
The victory in the Bronze Cup also means that Ghana Rugby has been promoted to the 2019 Rugby Africa Silver Cup that sees it compete against five nations that may include Algeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Zambia or Madagascar.
According to Mensah, the Bronze Cup victory was both sweet and sour in the sense that the money available to host the tournament turned out to be woefully short due to a series of unforeseen circumstances and events.
“We are extremely grateful to sponsors such as the Golden Tulip Accra, Panafrican Equipment, the Gino Brands, Interplast, Groupe Nduom, Macsteel and others who came to the party. Their invaluable contribution helped a lot but the unplanned move of the tournament to Elmina and the neglect by certain sponsors and the sporting bodies in Ghana to meet their commitments took its toll on the coffers of Ghana Rugby,” Mensah said.
According to Mensah, the next challenges of the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens and Men’s Fifteens tournaments will require substantial funding for the Ghana rugby to keep on flying Ghana’s flag high and proud.” Mensah said.
He continued to say that besides for performance related funding the Union also needs substantial funds to run the show in terms of governance and administration, youth and women’s rugby development, local competitions and training and education.
About Ghana Rugby
Ghana Rugby is the official full member of both World Rugby and Rugby Afrique in Ghana-West Africa and is responsible for the management and development of the game Rugby Union in the country.
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