Connect with us


Phuket to host first 80-80 international rugby tournament

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket to host first 80-80 international rugby tournament | Thaiger

PHUKET: Dr Marut Muangkeo, President of the Thai Rugby Union (TRU), has announced that the world’s first international 80-80 rugby tournament, in which all players each must not weigh more than 85 kilograms, will be held in Phuket from August 6 to 14.

Apart from the weight restriction, 80-80 rugby is full 15-a-side contact rugby played under the existing International Rugby Board (IRB) laws for official under-19 matches.

The name 80-80 was adopted because no player can weigh more than 80kg at the start of a season.

Auckland Rugby Union, New South Wales Union and Japan Rugby Football Union have all confirmed to compete against Thailand in August. “These Unions represent the ‘powerhouses’ of Southern hemisphere rugby and of course, Japan is the leading rugby nation in Asia, being the only one to have made a World Cup,” Dr Marut said in a press release.

“[The event] should prove to be one of the most competitive and closely fought rugby competitions between Asian Unions and Southern hemisphere unions ever.”

Don McBain of the TRU told the Gazette that although the tourney was originally scheduled to be played in Bangkok, the Ministry or Sports and Tourism decided to have Phuket host the tourney as part of its post-tsunami recovery policy.

Dr Marut explained, “When told of the venue change, representatives of Auckland Rugby Union and New South Wales Rugby Union were very enthusiastic. They will be spending some time in Bangkok as they pass through, but were more than happy to be playing their rugby in Phuket.”

Squads of roughly 30 players, coaches and managers will be staying in Phuket for a full 10 day and nights. “And because the matches are 15 a side, requiring mandatory rest periods between matches, there will be plenty of time for the teams to take in all the tourist activities,” said Dr Marut.

Also expected to attend, despite their demanding schedules, are the Chairman of the Australian Rugby Union, Dilip Kumar, and the Chairman of Auckland Rugby Union, Ken Baguley.

The IRB are expected to send both technical development managers and media representatives to study and record the tournament; filming of the event will be televised worldwide on the IRB’s weekly Total Rugby program.

However, Mr McBain explained that it has yet to be determined whether the tourney will be televised locally in Thailand.

He added that he expects the popularity of 80-80 rugby to skyrocket. “The potential for this is huge. If it’s anywhere near as successful as it has been in New Zealand, we’re sure it will take off,” Mr McBain said.

Although 80-80 rugby is a relatively new form of the classic sport, in the Auckland region alone some 200 clubs already play 80-80.

Dr Marut was enthusiastic about Thailand’s potential to perform well internationally in the sport because “it will be a competition based on individual skills, teamwork and technique only, without the domination of physical power that can be generated by some of the physically bigger peoples such as Fiji and South Africa.

“The concept is particularly appealing to Asian and African countries because these Unions can now compete. Thailand recognized this and has taken a valuable and enviable initiative, now grabbing the lead over every other union in the world,” he said.

“Imagine the interest if Thailand were to end up in the top 4 nations in the world, and with weight grade, there is no reason why that could not be,” Dr Marut added.


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World13 mins ago

Rare, giant barking deer makes appearance in Cambodia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 mins ago

Anutin says health system won’t collapse despite shortages

World56 mins ago

Fire at Chinese martial arts school kills 18, mainly kids

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand2 hours ago

Man allegedly steals almost 300,000 baht from monk

Thailand2 hours ago

Illegal cigarette shipment busted, valued at 30 million baht

Thailand4 hours ago

Pair arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards worth 240 million baht, take home almost 150

Best of5 hours ago

Top 5 Indian Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket5 hours ago

A Korean restaurant catches fire at a Phuket shopping centre

Best of6 hours ago

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for emergency use in Thailand

World6 hours ago

1 dead 99 unaccounted for in Florida building collapse

World6 hours ago

Airlines participate in trials of IATA Travel Pass app

Best of6 hours ago

Top 8 Street Foods in Thailand

World6 hours ago

A bed in the sky: Shanghai opens world’s highest luxury hotel

Thailand6 hours ago

GMT Live | Bangkok Covid situation, Klongtoey slums, Sandbox squabbles

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8