The Panafrican Equipment Group marked a historic moment in the Rugby history in Ghana when they delivered two homemade scrum machines to Ghana Rugby in Accra.
Mr Herbert Mensah, President and Board Chairman of the Union, described the historic moment as a breakthrough for Ghana Rugby when the scrum machines were handed over by Mr Tim Callaghan, General Manager of Panafrican.
“ Tim and I have been discussing the needs to develop the Game of Rugby in Ghana for some time now, and these scrum machines are one of the hopefully many fruits that will flow from those discussions,” Mensah said.
Callaghan was also delighted about the contribution that the Panafrican Equipment Group (Panafrican) could make to help Ghana’s Rugby teams to develop the necessary skills needed to advance to much higher levels of Rugby such as the 2019 Rugby Africa Silver Cup.
“The Panafrican Equipment Group in partnership with Komatsu have committed ourselves to form a partnership with Ghana Rugby because of their track record both on- and off-the-field. As corporate entities we are very selective with our brand associations but had no hesitation to make this decision to join hands with a sporting body that values governance as much as they value playing the Game of Rugby,” Callaghan said.
Mensah continued to say that the victory in the recently ended Rugby Africa Bronze Cup (Bronze Cup) was fantastic but that it in fact only highlighted areas to him where drastic improvement was required and that one of those areas was the scrum capabilities of the national team, the Ghana Eagles.
“Mauritius was all over us in all aspects of the scrum and these scrum machines linked with the introduction of highly skilled technical advisors will ensure that Ghana Rugby will at least have this aspect of the game mastered by the time we get to the 2019 Silver Cup,” Mensah said.
Mensah’s mention of skilled technical advisors referred to some of the foreign-based professional advisors who have decided to throw their weight behind Ghana Rugby on a pro-bono basis.
During the Bronze Cup Mensah invited Mr Collin Osborne, Skills Coach of the UK based Harlequin F.C. to Ghana to observe the matches and to identify areas that needed improvement. Osborne realised that Ghana struggled in the fixed phases of the game, namely in the lineouts and scrums.
In the week following the Bronze Cup Osborne conducted various training sessions for the women’s sevens teams, “Get Into Rugby” Development Officers, Club Coaches and the Ghana Rugby senior men’s teams with the focus on improving lineout and scrum techniques.
Ghana Rugby achieved much in a short space of time since Mensah and his administration took over the running of the Union on 5 June 2014.
The achievements include the hosting and winning of two Rugby Africa tournaments in the space of two years, being awarded Full Membership of World Rugby on 10 May 2017 and entering the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens circuit in Kampala-Uganda in October 2017.
Mensah said that the winning of the Bronze Cup only heralded in a new phase of much tougher challenges and that the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens tournament in Tunisia towards the end of 2018 and the 2019 Rugby Africa Silver Cup will place extreme demands of Ghana Rugby.
“Besides for tackling the challenges of much tougher competition on the men’s circuits we have set our goals on developing and advancing our women’s and junior teams to Continental level. These challenges all say one thing, namely that we need massive support in technical and financial areas.
We therefore truly appreciate the extra miles that companies such as Panafrican, the Golden Tulip Accra, Interplast, Gino and others are prepared to walk with Ghana Rugby,” Mensah concluded.
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.