Sydney team wins gay rugby world cup at Manchester final

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Gay Australian rugby team the Sydney Convicts have taken home the 2012 Bingham Cup, becoming gay rugby champions of the world.

They beat the San Francisco Fog 22 to 5 to win the accolade in Manchester this weekend.

The three-day tournament, which took place in Manchester, saw 37 teams from 12 countries compete.

Named in honour of Mark Bingham, a gay rugby player who died on United Flight 93 in September 11, the biennial tournament sees teams from cities rather than countries take part.

The Manchester Bingham Cup was the games’ sixth incarnation and the largest yet with more than 1300 players and supporters attending.

Manchester’s gay rugby team, the Village Spartans, achieved sixth place.

Alex Smith, chair of the Manchester 2012 Bingham Cup organising committee, said: “The Bingham Cup is all about one thing: proving the anyone, regardless of background, can grab a ball and run out onto a rugby pitch.

“The Manchester tournament achieved this in spades as we welcomed more players than any other Bingham Cup including teams from Lisbon in Portugal, Stockholm, Melbourne and Nashville, USA.”

The Bingham Cup started in 2002 in San Francisco. Previous host cities include Dublin, London, New York and Minneapolis. A decision on the 2014 host city is yet to be announced.