Saturday, March 12, 2011

José Manuel Diosa - Colombia Captain

The IRB´s weekly Rugby show, Total Rugby recently aired a piece on Colombia´s international flyhalf and captain, José Manuel Diosa. The story of Diosa is a powerful one which shows the strength and values of rugby and how the sport can be life alterating in teaching youngsters discipline, organization and team work. Diosa took up rugby four years ago after his mother had been spoken to by his high school directors about the possibility of expulsion. Diosa, like many taking up the sport in Colombia, comes from a poor background which in Colombia can be dangerous due to the crime rate and drug scene in his city of Medellin. He has not only succeeded in becoming a quality rugby player but is using his experience to act as a role model for the youth of Medellin.

The story is an example of the growth of rugby in the Americas - the only region which will never have hosted a Rugby World Cup come 2019. In such a short period of time the sport has grown tremendously and is in no way restricted to Argentina, Canada and the United States. It is a sport that is increasingly popular and has a huge future in both South and North America. The IRB should realize this and get behind the campaign for Argentina to host Rugby World Cup 2023 rather than take a step back by encouraging previous hosts such as Australia or South Africa to host again.

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