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'Bingham Cup was an insane amount of rugby and fun'

By Jack Tunney
A post-game speech at the Bingham Cup in Rome (Photo via Bingham Cup Facebook page)

After a wonderful few days of rugby, music, friendships and pure vibes, the 2024 Bingham Cup has come to a close. The much-celebrated World Cup for gay rugby players has once again opened the hearts and minds of thousands, as the holiday home of inclusive rugby did its job once again.

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For those uninitiated, the IGR Bingham Cup is an International Gay Rugby tournament named after Mark Kendall Bingham, an openly gay rugby player and hero of United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.

Established in 2002, it is held every two years and involves LGBTQ+ and inclusive rugby teams from around the world. The Bingham Cup promotes diversity, inclusion, respect and solidarity, offering a platform for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to compete in a welcoming environment.

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This year, situated in the romantic city of Rome, over 100 inclusive rugby teams and thousands more spectators gathered for a four-day tournament that was designed to provide enjoyment and competitiveness that left no soul untouched.

After a thrilling opening ceremony to kick off the proceedings, the first day of competition saw the teams in all their bright-coloured glory, soaking in the Italian sun as rugby took precedence for those who had made the journey.

 

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A post shared by IGR Bingham Cup (@binghamcup)

It wasn’t just an occasion for rugby, however, it was about much more than that. As you walked around the venue, the collaboration between those from different parts of the world and different styles of life was there to see as clear as day.

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Whether you were involved in the 100-person Macarena or were busy chatting to new friends at the spaghetto van, the vibes were pure joy.

The feedback about the tournament has been largely positive, with social media awash with responses from those who attended. Excited about the next location in 2026, one person expressed their desire to return, saying: “Bingham Cup was an insane amount of rugby and fun.

“Rome is a beautiful city but I definitely can’t wait for the next location”, while another added that the “Bingham Cup is such a great experience!”

The top tier of the men’s Bingham tournament was won by the French side Les Gaillards, beating the Sydney Convicts in the final. Les Gaillards president Vianney Mosser was very proud of his team’s performance, telling the gay publication Outsports: “This is the biggest tournament in the world for rugby players who aren’t professional.

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“We have been preparing since last September and around 30 of our 75 players had never played rugby before that. So this is a great recognition of our work.”

Former champions King Cross Steelers were defeated in the quarter-finals by the Sydney Convicts but did gain victory over Los Valents de Montpelhier in the Bingham Bowl.

Gotham Knights defeated Seattle Quake to take the Bingham Plate, while Washington Renegades nulled Philadelphia Gryphons to take the Bracket M knockout stage as their own.

The London-based Steelers’ second string took victory in the Hoagland Cup, while Canadian side Montreal Armada beat the Chicago Dragons to win the Bowl. Australian talent Melbourne Chargers won the Plate, Baltimore Flamingos the Shield, Sydney Convicts B the Vase, and Washington Renegades the Tankard.

There was a victory for Scottish side Caledonian Thebans in the Gladiators Cup, French team Touwin took the Bowl, and Israeli side Tel Aviv the Plate. In the women’s competition, Amsterdam Lowlanders RC took control of the Amanda Tier, with a huge 62-point victory in the final.

The Challenger Tier was split into multiple knockout stages, with Irish side Cork Hellhounds winning the top-level Cup. English team Yorkshire Roses took the Bowl, while rivals Wessex Wyverns excelled in the Plate.

The home side and hosts Roma Libera won the Shield, Colchester Kings won the Vase, Wisconsin Beer Bulls the Tankard, Brighton and Hove Sea Serpents the Scepter, and Montreal Berserkers the Spoon.

  • Click here for the full results from Bingham Cup 2024
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Turlough 52 minutes ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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