Asian rugby expansion a step closer
The global rugby governing body has considered detailed expansion plans for Andrew Forrest’s new Asian pro-rugby series competition in 2019 and beyond.
The proposal for a full-scale, elite Asia Pacific competition was considered by World Rugby’s Executive Committee on Wednesday. The Executive Committee recommended the concept for approval to the World Rugby Council, subject to finalisation of regulatory and governance criteria.
“This concept is about developing and growing the great game of rugby union in an untapped region, with the support of local communities,” founder Andrew Forrest AO said.
“We have worked closely with World Rugby, Rugby Australia, Hong Kong Rugby Union and New Zealand Rugby for several months to get this over the line.
“The support provided by the World Rugby Executive Committee is an important milestone and I would particularly like to thank World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle and the many other rugby leaders around the world that have had the vision and foresight to champion this competition.
“The Asia Pacific will be a major player in rugby’s future. I am looking forward to being able to help develop the game in the region.
“We are in the final stretch and I remain confident rugby fans and players in our part of the world will have an innovative new competition to get behind in 2019.”
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “We have worked very closely with Andrew and his team as he has developed plans for an Asia Pacific focussed competition. There is a lot of detail to work through and we are looking forward to continuing this positive dialogue over the coming months.”