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Rugby: The Fastest Growing Sport In Africa Gaining Grounds In Ghana



Rugby: The Fastest Growing Sport In Africa Gaining Grounds In Ghana

Few countries in Africa can rival the passion and energy of traditional rugby powers in the world. In the year 2002, there were only six countries that notably participated in rugby competitions on the continent- Morocco, South Africa, Namibia, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast.

As at 2018, the number increased to 38 union members representing 84% within the 16-year interval. Amongst the new members is Nigeria, Ghana’s bitter rival.

Growth in player registration in 2017 was pegged at 66% (excluding South African players) against a global increase of 27%. Between 2016 and 2017 reports showed Nigeria, Mauritius, Madagascar, Namibia and South Africa recorded the quickest growth in total number of players. This is a clear demonstration of the passion for rugby across the continent.

There are 105 countries participating in competitive rugby in the world, one-third are African nations. The situation in Madagascar is now such that it boasts 160 clubs existing in the capital Antananarivo making it the African country with the most clubs per capita. International rugby matches record more than 40,000 spectators.

In terms of ranking, Namibia, who are current African champions who also will be representing Africa in the Rugby World Cup, ranks 23rd in the world men’s top 50 with 7 other African nations. In the seven aside division known as 7s, Kenya’s men’s team was recently ranked 7th in the world in the top 10.

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Women are not left out in both the administration, participation and officiating the game of rugby.
In 2017, Rugby Africa had the highest percentage of female participation of any other region (46%) in the world. More than 20% were women and girls in Africa.

Other key breakdowns

Female referees are already officiating top-level men’s matches in Africa. Female rugby players increased by 50% in the space of a year. 70% (38 out of 54) of African nations are recognized as ‘rugby-playing’ countries.

Africa is one of the fastest growing fan bases with an increase of 30+ million fans since 2013. Madagascar alone has 520+ clubs. The top five countries where the average penetration of rugby fans calculated is 35% versus a global average of 23% : (1) South Africa (2) Nigeria (3)Madagascar(4)Kenya and (5) Cameroon

How has rugby fared in Ghana?

Ghana joined World Rugby as an associate member in 2004 and became a full member in 2017. Prior to Ghana Rugby getting recognition by the international body, there were several turns out of events, there came the intervention of the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) that selected Ghana as the pilot west African Project, due to the RLEF’s partnership with UK Sport International.

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The fruition of deliberations amongst the major stakeholders in partnership finally gave birth to a recognized rugby body in 2013. Since then, there has been a significant increase in participation and fan attendance.

Rugby in Ghana has developed and grown so well that Ghana is set to host an internationally recognized rugby tournament known as Middle East –African rugby league championship, which will be played amongst four heavyweights in rugby scheduled to kick off on 27th September. The winner of the championship will get automatic qualification to rugby World Cup in France in 2025

Key Breakdown

Because rugby was introduced in Ghana proper through an educational partnership, the first crop of rugby players that used proper rugby ball and officiating were university students and immediate past graduates who eventually formed part of the core rugby team. Just two years after securing recognition with rugby Africa and world the Ghanaian team went to Nigeria and won silver in a rugby championship held in Nigeria. The numbers started increasing since then.

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In 2021 four clubs were registered in the male category with a total of 100 players. Fast forward in 2022 the clubs have increased to seven with a total of 200 players registered, representing 50% increase in player registration.

In the female category, in 2021 three teams were registered with 27 players and in 2022, teams increased to four and players increased to 50 representing 54% increase in female player registration.

Ghana now ranks 31st in world rugby ranking with South Africa placing 30th with just 0.01 interval and Nigeria on 28th as the best ranked African nation as of July 2022 world rankings.

To host and win and automatically qualify for the world cup in the upcoming event will definitely be the goal of which achieving such feet will definitely cause a further increase in participation.



Ghana Black Stars Can’t Win Any Match In Their World Cup Group – Bright Kankam Boadu



Ghana Black Stars Can’t Win Any Match In Their World Cup Group – Bright Kankam Boadu

Many Ghanaians expected that the Coach would not commit the same error another time and would teach his strikers how to score more goals in a game.

On Thursday, 27th September 2022, Black Stars finally met Nicaragua for the friendly match. Many football experts believe that the Black Stars has what it takes to score more than 3 goals.

However, Black Star managed to score only 1 goal in their match against Nicaragua. The goal was scored in the first half, in the 35th minute by Fatawu Issahaku.

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Reacting to the performance of Black Stars in the studios of Pure FM, Bright Kankan Boadu is a firm believer that looking at the performance of Coach Otto Addo and the players at hand, it’ll be very difficult for Black Stars to win a match in their World Cup group.

As a reminder, Group is in group H and will open its campaign against Portugal on November 24 at Stadium 974 in Doha.

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Four days later, the Black Stars return to action with a clash with South Korea at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.

Ghana will wrap up their group stage adventure with their much-anticipated encounter with Uruguay at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.


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Coach Samuel Boadu Bio, Education, Previous Teams Coached, Wife, Achievements



Coach Samuel Boadu Bio, Education, Previous Teams Coached, Wife, Achievements

Samuel Boadu is a Ghanaian professional footballer and former coach of Accra Hearts of Oak S.C. in the Ghana Premier League and the assistant coach of the Ghana national U-20 team.

He previously coached Tarkwa-based club Medeama S.C. and the Ghana national U-15 team.

His most successful years as a coach, his glorious years were with Hearts of Oak, where he won five trophies out of available seven in 18 months.

The Ghanaian giants parted ways with him on September 27, 2022, after a poor start to the 2022/23 season.

Personal details

Samuel Boadu was born on February 24, 1996 (36 years), in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He is a native of Tepa – a neighbourhood in the Ashanti Region.


Boadu had his basic and secondary education at the Adum Presbyterian Basic School and Kumasi High School. He was a key figure of the football teams at all these levels.

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He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate in Purchasing and Supply from the Kumasi Polytechnic (now Kumasi Technical University).

Playing career

Amateur career

Real Ambassadors, Tema

RTU Colts Club, Kumasi

Ahmadiyya Stars

Ashanti Heroes

Professional career

Team                                                               Years

Bibiani GoldStars                                             —–

GHAPOHA, Tema                               2000–2001

Berekum Arsenal, Berekum                      2001–2003

Prestea Mine Stars, Prestea                    2003–2007

ASFA Yennenga, Burkina Faso                   2007–2008

Coaching career


  1. CAF Coaching Licence “A”
  2. CAF Participation “A”
  3. Coaching License “CAF Coaching License “B”
  4. CAF Participation “B”
  5. CAF Coaching License “C”
  6. CAF Participation “C”
  7. Coaches across the Continent seminar
  8. Intermediate Coaching “Grade B”
  9. Ghana Football Association Soccer Coaching Course
  10. Ghana Football Association and Four Years Business Development/Intermediate Coaching Certificate
  11. Ashanti Region Football Association Soccer Coaching Workshop (GFA)
  12. Ashanti Regional Soccer Coaches Association Soccer Coaching (ARSCA-UNITY)
  13. Ashanti Regional Football Soccer Coaching Course
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Samuel Boadu started his coaching career with Fantomas FC in 2008, a colts club in Kumasi, after suffering an injury that means he had to retire from football.

Below are the clubs he has previously coached;

2008  Fantomas FC

2008–2009  FC Porto (Ghana)

2015  Honeymoon FC

2015  Latex Foam FC

2017  Shooting Stars FC

2013–2018  Asokwa Deportivo

2018–2021  Medeama S.C.

2018–2021  Ghana U-15

2021–2022  Accra Hearts of Oak

2021– Ghana U-20 (Assistant Coach)

Boadu’s coaching career peaked at Hearts of Oak after being unlucky to have two if his seasons at Medeama truncated; in those seasons, he looked like he had teams that can win the league but they were called off because of the number 12 expose and the COVID-19 pandemic.


With Accra Hearts of Oak

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Ghana Premier League: 2020/21

Ghanaian FA Cup: 2021 and 2022

Ghana Super Cup: 2021

President’s Cup: 2022


GPL NASCO Coach of the Month: May 2021, June 2021

Ghana Football Awards Men’s Coach of the Year: 2021

GPL NASCO Coach of the Season: 2020/21


Samuel Boadu married Felicia Apimpanta in August 2021. He made history by becoming the first Ghanaian coach to have his wedding broadcast live on national television, Ghana Television.

The couple is blessed with a son.


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Otto Addo Hints At Mass Changes For Nicaragua Friendly Match Tonight



Otto Addo Hints At Mass Changes For Nicaragua Friendly Match Tonight

Black Stars head coach, Otto Addo, has given hints the Black Stars could have a new look in their pre-World Cup friendly with the Los Pinoleros of Nicaragua on Tuesday evening.

Ghana’s starting team versus Brazil in their last friendly sparked controversy across social media and numerous football communities, as Addo started Cremonese forward, Felix Afena-Gyan as striker with captain, Andre Ayew deployed in midfield.

The team have since been in Spain, where they held a final training session on Monday ahead of Tuesday evening’s game. However, after the loss to Brazil, the gaffer, indicated he had ‘learnt a lot’ about his players, and coupled with fitness doubts of a few key players, the Black Stars could look different when they line up against Nicaragua.

“We are using these matches to try a lot of things – not only the players, also on systems. We have to find it together, this is very important for us as a team. We have new players to integrate – a whole lot of things, and I also want to use these games to give players a platform to show themselves. I am not worried, we have to take the right conclusions from every match and prepare for the World Cup, that’s the most important thing,” Addo said to the press ahead of the game.

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It was not until the second half versus Brazil, the Black Stars carried an offensive threat. The Brazilians’ very-offensive approach plus Ghana’s poor defensive application meant the Samba boys submerged the Black Stars under pressure, consequently scoring three in forty minutes.

And coming up against the Los Pinoleros, an encounter Addo has described as ‘less difficult‘, he is expecting Ghana carries more attacking threat.

“We want to have a lot of connections, it’s a different game. We are favourites so it demands different things from us, and we trained and spoke about it in the last days. So hopefully we can see a lot of offensive patterns in the game.”

How should Ghana approach Nicaragua?

After the second-half versus Brazil which saw the Black Stars adjust to a 3-4-1-2, many have called on the Black Stars technical handlers to make the approach a main-say going forward. However, this is a game where the Black Stars’ more front-foot approach with two attacking midfielders will work, and Addo admitted same in the Nicaragua pre-match press conference.

“It’s a different game, this game we are the favourites so it demands different things from us.”

Ghana, versus Brazil, lined up in a 4-3-3 – Addo playing his usual double 8s system, and it is the same approach which the Black Stars could start in versus Nicaragua. What will make the difference this time though, will be the profiles named in the lineup.

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Daniel-Kofi Kyereh replacing Dede Ayew in the number 8 role will have Ghana start with two of their most technically gifted midfielders, as Mohammed Kudus could be one of the first names on the team sheet. In the holding midfield role, Elisha Owusu could be a more pronounced option to Baba Iddrisu, who for the Black Stars has often shown some weakness on the ball.

Although Owusu has played only two games this season – after recently making an injury return, he boasted of better passing statistics as compared to that of Iddrisu’s last season. While Iddrisu completed 80% of his attempted passes, Owusu, recorded an 87% completion rate.

As admitted by Addo, the Black Stars are favourites for this game, and it is expected much of the game will be played in Nicaragua’s half. Last season, Owusu completed 82% of attempted passes in the opposition half, while Iddrisu managed 72%.

With Alexander Djiku a doubt due to injury, Mohammed Salisu partnering Daniel Amartey will not only be a mean partnership but will also offer the Black Stars more ball progression on the left. Meanwhile, Osman Bukari could replace Kamaldeen Sulemana who failed to impress versus Brazil. Inaki Williams starting over Felix Afena-Gyan should be a no brainer and Jordan Ayew will most likely start.

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These new adjustments will also help the Black Stars maintain their attacking shape of a 3-1-4-2, as Odoi can tuck in as a 3rd centre-back with Bukari holding width on the right.

A converse attacking approach the Black Stars can adopt will be to have a double pivot of Kyereh and Owusu. Jordan can take a new role, roaming in the half-space with Kudus as double 8s, shifting the Black Stars into a new shape of 3-2-4-1.


Besides these, there are many other approaches Addo can use versus Nicaragua. For instance, instead of playing Odoi, a more traditional fullback can be deployed to keep the width, while a different profile of a right winger is deployed.

Nevertheless, this is a game the Black Stars will have to make a statement, by scoring nothing short of three goals.


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