This was a big milestone for this small union and reinforced its belief in a bright rugby future. From then on, the national team got more and more opportunities to play. The very first match opposed them to Zambia. A turbulent face to face that Rwanda lost 107-9 ! The heavy loss was a tough but necessary lesson and boosted the team to win its second match against Burundi 18 points to 5.
Rugby has got an audience in the country ; whether it is 15s, 10s or 7s, the oval ball intrigues and draws attention. The Union then makes every effort to take advantage of this new enthusiasm.
In 2010, the dream came true ! The national team of Rwanda received an invitation for the Hong-Kong Kowloon RugbyFest, a 10s rugby tournament, very renowned on the Asiatic continent. There they benefited from the experience of their team-mates, of the coaches, of passionate people and amateurs. An incredible opportunity which the team is not close to forget ! They came back home with the hope and desire to further develop rugby. Silverbacks were invited again to this tournament until 2013.
Since then, rugby hasn’t ceased to grow, quite particularly in Kigali, the capital city. Acting as a breath of fresh air, sport has become a key component of the reunification process of the people of Rwanda. Rugby and its values of integrity, solidarity, discipline and respect had a strong effect on the rugbymen and playing rugby during their free time helped them bounce back from the dark hours of the country’s history.
2015 saw Rwanda take a new giant step ! On November 11th, the decision is made to adopt the Rwandan Rugby Federation as a full member of World Rugby. This membership represents a huge success and well deserved reward for the stakeholders of the Rwandan rugby family who have worked so hard towards this goal for several years. Indeed, thanks to this new position, the Union will now receive an annual development grant as well as the right to participate in the qualification process for the Fifteen-a-side as well as Sevens Rugby World Cups, Men and Women alike and one of its representatives will be invited every second to the World Rugby’s General Assembly.