PARIS, France, August 21, 2023/ — Today, during his official visit to France, Herbert Mensah, the new President of Rugby Africa, the continental governing body for rugby in Africa, held a meeting with Florian Grill, the recently elected President of the French Rugby Federation (FFR). The meeting represents a significant stride in fortifying the bond between the two organizations, both of which have elected new Presidents just a few months ago. President Grill welcomed President Mensah to the FFR Headquarters at the France National Rugby Center Bernard Lapasset in Marcoussis, located near Paris.
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The two new Presidents emphasized the need for the establishment of a new foundation for the relations between their two respective organizations and expressed a desire for a stronger partnership that will mutually benefit both parties. As the recently elected President of Rugby Africa, Herbert Mensah is confident that Rugby Africa and the French Rugby Federation can build a stronger and unified approach to rugby.
As of 2023, more than 1,200 African nationals were playing rugby in France.
The French Rugby Federation could have a pivotal role in the development of rugby in Africa, and the collaboration between Rugby Africa and the FFR could lead to a collective effort to transform not only the sport itself but also the communities it impacts and the opportunities it creates across the African continent.
With a mission to steer the growth of rugby throughout the continent, President Mensah emphasized the need for development that extends beyond initiatives such as coach training, nutrition plans, and referee development. “We came to see if we could change the dynamic of our own relationship. We looked at ways we could raise money together, change the competition platform, and the pathway into rugby,” stated Rugby Africa President Herbert Mensah.
As France gears up for the imminent 2023 Rugby World Cup, President Grill underscored the significance of this meeting. “Being the new President of the French Rugby Federation, elected just two months ago, I was very happy and honored to receive Herbert Mensah, who was elected just two months before me. For us, it is very important that Rugby develops in Africa,” said FFR President Florian Grill.
The discussions between the two newly elected Presidents concluded with a sense of optimism and a firm commitment to their partnership. “Speaking with President Grill was such an uplifting moment. It’s not often that you meet a President with the same type of clarity in his vision, not only for his country France but also for Africa at large,” added Herbert Mensah.