Like the Irish have their national game of hurling the fierce sport that many of their rugby players were first weaned on so Afganistan has their national sport of Buzkashi - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UB3eA8B4qI .
Buzkashi is often compared to polo. Both games are played between people on horseback, both involve propelling an object toward a goal, and both get fairly rough. However, polo is played with a ball, and buzkashi is played with a headless goat carcass. Polo matches are played for fixed periods totaling about an hour; traditional Buzkashi may continue for days, but in its more regulated tournament version also has a limited match time.
Competition is typically fierce. Prior to the establishment of official rules by the Afghan Olympic Federation the sport was mainly conducted based upon rules such as not whipping a fellow rider intentionally or deliberately knocking him off his horse. Riders usually wear heavy clothing and head protection to protect themselves against other players' whips andboots. The boots usually have high heels that lock into the saddle of the horse to help the rider lean on the side of the horse while trying to pick up the goat. Games can last for several days, and the winning team receives a prize, not necessarily money, as a reward for their win.
Buzkashi is the national sport and a "passion" in Afghanistan where it is often played on Fridays and matches draw thousands of fans. Whitney Azoy notes in his book "Buzkashi: Game and Power in Afghanistan:.... (that) leaders are men who can seize control by means foul and fair and then fight off their rivals. The Buzkashi rider does the same" . During the rule of the Taliban regime, Buzkashi was banned in Afghanistan, as the Taliban considered the game immoral. Although, ever since the Taliban regime was ousted the game is being played again.
This Buzkashi culture/frame of mind will serve the newly formed (2011) Afghanistan Rugby Federation well in their quest for rugby glory.
To help them attain this goal to become a competitive rugby nation the Dog River Howlers Rugby Club are sending 150 touch rugby velcro belts, 150 rugby balls along with mouth guards, speed pumps, whistles, saucer cones, kicking tee's, duffel bags, singlets for inter squad training and several sets of playing kit in early summer when transport issues are resolved. This is part of their "Howlers Support Upstart Afghanistan Rugby" campaign: www.facebook.com/HowlersSupportUpstartAfghanistanRugby?fref=ts