Former rugby great Ben Darwin (pictured on right) who played 28 tests as a prop for the Wallabies and Justin ‘Sambo’ Sampson (pictured on the left) who represented NSW Country joined business people and enthusiasts at the “2013 Indonesian Rugby Charity Lunch” held at Fez Dungeon in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Saturday.
The event was accompanied by live coverage of the Rugby Championship clash between Australia and New Zealand, which the latter won 27-16.
The annual lunch, which included a raffle and auction in aid of the Persatuan Rugby Union Indonesia (PRUI), is held to thank sponsors and present awards to those who have excelled in their roles.
The weekend capped off a stellar 12 months with much to celebrate.
This year the national team, the Rhinos, held its spot in Division III of the Asian 5 Nations rugby competition, defeating China 37-13 to take third place in June.
The win was the Rhinos’ 10th from 18 tests since the team played its first match against Cambodia in 2006.
The PRUI this year was also made a full member of the National Sports Committee of Indonesia (KONI), an important step for the organization as it seeks to become a permanent member of the International Rugby Board. The PRUI hopes this will be achieved in November.
Rugby’s global profile has grown since 2009, when the International Olympic Committee announced that rugby sevens would be included in Olympic competition in 2016.
Indonesia has started a potential Olympic drive by establishing a national Under-20 team that will take part in Asia’s biggest rugby competition — the HSBC Asian Sevens Series — in Malaysia next month.
The U-20 side — dubbed the Harimau Muda (Young Tigers) — will compete against China, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Thailand and tournament host Malaysia.
The Jakarta Globe is a media partner of PRUI.