The University of Bristol rugby players face the Makis of Madagascar U20 and senior men on Thursday and Sunday.
Passing through Madagascar on their African tour, a team of 48 players and 4 staff members landed in Madagascar on Wednesday to compete against the Makis U20 and senior men national team on June 22 and 25 at the Andohatapenaka stadium. After the visit of the Oxford University team, beaten by the Makis during their meeting in 2018, the Bristol University rugby team comes to Madagascar to see the level of Malagasy rugby, reputed to be very physical and very fast by Europeans. “Members of the Malagasy national team are warned because the University of Bristol, with well-built rugby players, is among the suppliers of players to the England national team. In the university championship, Bristol is one of the most prominent teams,” says Antsoniandro Andrianorosoa, DTN of Malagasy Rugby Founded in 1876, Bristol RFC is one of the oldest and most important sports teams in the university. With over 140 current members and an extensive network of alumni, joining the BRFC means more than just donning a jersey every week. In the 2022–23 season, Bristol finished 9th, qualifying them for entry into the 2023–24 European Rugby Champions Cup due to a berth becoming available, with fifth place disappearing of the London Irish.
Make the most of
On its Facebook page, the Bristol University team is eager to face the Malagasy national team: “We have two matches, one of which will be a meeting between our first rugby union team and the national team. from Madagascar. Our Maroon7s will also participate in their first tournament outside of Europe”. The Malagasy national rugby team has already been preparing for a week for this confrontation against the British, this Sunday. Noé Mboazafy alias Razily, coach of the national team, admits having no knowledge of the level of the opponents this Sunday. The national team, reorganized compared to the one which faced Reunion recently, continues the preparation until Sunday. “We are aware of the expectations of the supporters and the size of our opponents. To compete with them, you have to play with skill and speed, try to counter them in melee and get the ball out very quickly to rush in attack, ”he adds. Martin Dimbinandrasana, supporter of Makis from Madagascar, thinks that “matches against foreign players bring experience to our national team. To raise the level of our players, it’s a game that comes at the right time and we have to make the most of it. Malagasy Rugby must find sparring partners like that, at least every three months”.