“Even if the infrastructure is poor…” The potential of Korean rugby, seen by Andre Jin, who graduated from the national university

On the 20th, the ‘OK Financial Group Itsman Rugby Team Founding Ceremony’ was held at the ENA Suite Hotel in Seoul. The inauguration ceremony was attended by OK Financial Group owner Choi Yoon, rugby team coach Oh Young-gil, Tokyo Olympic national coach Andre Jin, coach Nam Chang-soo and the team.

The OK Financial Group Rugby Team was founded in March 2021, and is a club composed of ordinary office workers engaged in duties, not elite athletes. It was founded with the motto of ‘working office worker’ to support rugby players who have not achieved their dream of becoming an unemployed player.

He has won cups at the 32nd Presidential National Championships and the 75th National Championships, and won a bronze medal in the general division at the 103rd National Sports Festival.

The first head coach Oh Young-gil worked as an academy training coach for the Japan Rugby League One Division 3 NTT DoCoMo Rugby Team, and in 2021 led the Korean national team to participate in the Asian Rugby Sevens Series. He is known as the real protagonist of the movie ‘600,000 Tries’, which deals with the story of students participating in the national competition. 

In addition, 28 domestic players along with four foreign mercenaries, including Yanu Venter and Tani Shunsuke, joined the inauguration ceremony on this day. Han Gu-min, born in 1995, will captain the rugby team. Members of the team work at their jobs during the day and play rugby in the evening, nurturing their dream of expanding the base of rugby in Korea. During the day, the team works as a financier in charge of loan review work and promotion work. 

OK Financial Group coach Oh Young-gil메이저사이트, who is in charge of the team, is a Korean-Japanese veteran with 32 years of coaching experience in Japanese rugby.

Coach Oh said, “I am very happy to have had the opportunity to coach Korean rugby.” I will use it as an opportunity for character education along with skills.” 

However, it is still too early for the rapid growth of rugby in Korea. It is a reality that Korea lags far behind advanced countries in terms of awareness and infrastructure. Coach Oh said, “The players have grown wonderfully, but it is difficult to win in matches.” “There are many times when you can’t do what you prepared. I will,” he added.

Coach Andre Jin, a former national team player and the first naturalized Korean rugby player, also said plainly, “It is still difficult for the Korean sports environment to catch up with advanced countries.”

However, he highly praised the possibility of rugby players who performed well in poor conditions and advanced to the Olympics 98 years after the introduction of rugby in Korea. Coach Andre Jin emphasized, “Despite the lack of facilities and resources, the players advanced to the Olympics with their skills.” “For the next development of domestic rugby, we need to show good performances with good staff and move forward to the next level.” . 

Existing domestic rugby teams include KEPCO, Hyundai Glovis, POSCO E&C, and the Armed Forces Sports Corps (Sangmu), and OK Financial Group joined as the fifth team. Foreign mercenaries include Yanu Venter (South Africa), who played for Yakult Levins in Japan’s top East League, Shunsuke Tani (Japan), who ate a pot of rice, and Divan Enslin and Conor Clark (South Africa), who were from Tel Aviv Heat. 

Meanwhile, the OK Financial Group rugby team will compete in the ‘2023 Korea Super Rugby League’ starting on the 25th.


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