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Rugby union in Thailand

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Title: Rugby union in Thailand  
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Subject: Rugby union in Thailand, Rugby union in Turkey, Thailand national rugby union team (sevens), Rugby union in Syria, Rugby union in Tajikistan
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Rugby union in Thailand

Rugby union in Thailand
Country Thailand
Governing body Thai Rugby Union
National team Thailand
First played Early 20th century
Registered players 16,121 [1]
Clubs 154
National competitions

Rugby union in Thailand is a significant sport. They are currently ranked 60th, with 16,121 registered players.[2]

Governing body

The governing body is the Thai Rugby Union, which was founded in 1937, and affiliated to the IRFB in 1989.[2][3][4]


Thai rugby goes back to the early twentieth century.[3]

Unlike most other Asian countries, Thailand does not have a history of European colonialism, and was one of the few to maintain its neutrality. Thus Thai rugby cannot be said to be a legacy of colonialism.

Some of the Thai middle class took up the sport in the 1920s, along with ex-patriates from French and English speaking countries.[3]

The Second World War interrupted the development of the sport, but its adoption by the Thai military and police ensured its survival.[3]

Thai rugby still has a strong ex-pat connection - one of the most famous players for Thailand is best known for being Will Carling's brother.[3] The Southerners Sports Club (Bangkok) is one of Thailand's main ex-pat rugby clubs, fielding sides in the local Thailand Rugby Union competition, and in local and international 7's and 10's tournaments.

Thailand also has a national sevens team.[5] The Scottish rugby commentator, Bill McLaren mentioned the Thais in a report on the 1989 Hong Kong Sevens, and noted that they supplied at least one referee for the tournament, Vengsakern Paerehitya of the Royal Thai Air Force, who gained valuable experience by working with the other internationally renowned referees at the game.[6]

There are now at least fifty clubs in Thailand.[3]

International hosting

Thailand has hosted two international rugby tournaments -

See also


  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1)
  • McLaren, Bill A Visit to Hong Kong in Starmer-Smith, Nigel & Robertson, Ian (eds) The Whitbread Rugby World '90 (Lennard Books, 1989)
  1. ^
  2. ^ a b IRB Thailand Page retrieved 5 July 2009
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p75
  4. ^ Thai Rugby Union retrieved 5 July 2009
  5. ^ McLaren, p70
  6. ^ McLaren, p 74

External links

  • IRB Thailand Page
  • Official union page
  • Rugby in Asia, Thailand page
  • Asian Rugby Football Union
  • The Southerners Sports Club
  • Old Bangkok Bangers Rugby Club
  • (French) Archives du Rugby: Thailande

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