Rugby XV in Indonesia

With the current BECA Jakarta XVs Series 2018 entering Round 5, it is a great time to examine the history of the XVs Game in Indonesia.

In 2006, Indonesia was asked to send a Men’s National XVs Team to the newly formed Asian Division 6 Rugby Championship. Held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Indonesia lost to the hosts 7-30 and subsequently went on to defeat Laos 34-12 and Brunei 32-20.

Since those humble beginnings, Indonesia has maintained a National Rugby XVs competition along with other, more social tournaments, to be able to select the best players to represent Indonesia in the national Rhinos Squad.

The BECA Jakarta XVs Series 2018 is the twelfth year that a Jakarta XVs competition has been played. Throughout the years, it has extended to include teams from West Java, Banten and even Bali with teams such as Bandung Rams, Jago Dulu and Bali Chillies taking part as full or guest participants. With varying skills and at times a majority of players who are Rugby novices, it is satisfying to see that overall, there has been continuous and improved supply of players fed into the Rhinos from the national XVs competition.

It must be said that although Jakarta Komodo has dominated and won every single Jakarta XVs Series since its inception, there is no lack of trying from all the other competing teams. Last year, UNJ Rugby who were only in their third year of the competition, competed fiercely and played Komodo in the Finals for the first time. Youth, fitness and enthusiasm was not enough to break the Komodo winning streak however and the Championship Trophy still remains secure at the Komodo HQ for now.

Not to be outdone by the Capital, Papua will soon hold their own Rugby XVs Exhibition Competition. Titled “SCRUM DOWN”, the event will be held at Lapangan Kampung Yoka this upcoming 8th of April. With four Men’s XVs (Hollandia, Kenabai Umbai, Manuai and The Legends Rugby Clubs) as well as two Women’s XVs (Hollandia and Kenabai Umbai) teams at the event, Papua Rugby has again become a pioneer by having the first Women’s Rugby XVs match in Indonesia.

“Our wish is simply to get more game time for Papua players,” says Scrum Down organizer and Indonesian XVs and Sevens player Lawrence Koyanki. “We have a lot of talent to contribute to the National Squad but if we don’t get enough game time then our players get nervous and don’t end up not performing well. A few of the senior Papua players like Pak Deda, Frans Yoku and Billy Pulalo organized this event so everyone gets a taste of XVs Rugby as well as the shortened Tens and Sevens. It’s a full day of Rugby fun and we look forward to showcasing this relative new sport to the spectators that come down to watch.”

With a Women’s XVs game to be held at the Scrum Down event, and dozens of women’s Rugby players now playing in Rugby Sevens competitions throughout Indonesia, there is also discourse about having a Women’s XVs competition in the near future.

Stay tuned as we keep you updated on developments of this new exciting chapter.