Maxsum Suhaidi the First Indonesian Rugby International

Maxsum Suhaidi the First Indonesian Rugby International

Rugby was been played in Indonesia, many years before PRUI was formerly established on May 10, 2004, typically by expatriates who were members of the Jakarta and ISCI Rugby Clubs in the 1970’s through until the early part of this century. There is also evidence of Rugby having been played by expatriates at the English Club better known as the “Box Club” in Menteng from the early 1900’s through until the outbreak of World War II.

When the Hong Kong Sevens was first played on March 26, 1976, clubs from Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Fiji participated. Indonesia participated through the ISCI Rugby Club, which at the time was the major club in the country. Indonesia went on to participate in the Hong Kong Sevens through until 1986 when the level of competition had grown to a truly international tournament. The success of the early years has seen the Hong Kong Sevens become the premiere Rugby Sevens tournament in the world today.

Indonesian Rugby is very proud of its involvement in the Hong Kong Sevens from 1976-86. Whilst the young Indonesian players of today can only dream about playing in this great tournament, there is in fact an Indonesian by the name of Maxsum Suhaidi, who has been described by a former team mate as “having legs like a becak driver and could run horizontally at great speed but not necessarily in the right direction”, who has played in this tournament.

Maxsum was a 28 year old Drinks Waiter at ISCI, who played in the 1982 Hong Kong Sevens (see the picture above). Standing 1.63m tall and weighing in at 68kg, he was selected in the IRU White Rhinos side, coached by Harry Bowman and John Cordony against the Wallabies and when Peter Lucas ran at him, he allegedly ran the other way. The Wallabies ran out 52-0 winners in that match, but Indonesia went on to thrash Brunei in a later match.

Maxsum Suhaidi goes down in the history books as the first ever Indonesian to be selected to play in an ‘international’ match for Indonesia, preceding those Indonesians who played for the Rhinos in the first IRB recognised Test match played in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on June 27, 2006.