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Rugby league to kick off in Saudi Arabia

Prince Sultan Bin Faisal announced that a local rugby league will be launched in the next four months

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Prince Sultan Bin Faisal, chairman of Saudi Rugby Federation, announced Sunday that a local rugby league will be launched in the next four months.

Following the announcement, the federation signed a contract with a consultancy company to develop rugby all over the country.

“We have noticed that more and more young men are drawn to rugby. However, the media should educate the public about it so that more youths take it up.

“I’m optimistic about the future of this sport, which teaches youths how to be disciplined and have stamina,” said Prince Sultan.

He expressed the hope that the sport will see major development in the Kingdom over the next three to five years.

Saudi youths who play rugby can be classified among the best in the world, Sultan said, adding that there are excellent Saudi players in all regions.

As for experience, the committee signed a contract with Chester Williams of South Africa, who played in his national team in 1995 and helped the team win the World Cup. After his retirement, Williams became a coach for his country’s team and played a major role in helping his country win another World Cup.

“We’ll have a 45-day training camp in South Africa before the Asian playoffs in India which will send the winning teams to rugby competition that will be organized in Rio De Janeiro 2016,” Sultan said.

He thanked Faleh Al-Bishi, secretary general of the rugby committee, for his efforts in forming the group and popularizing the game here.

This story was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Dec. 30, 2014.