In addition to the launch of the IMPACT Beyond 2019 legacy programme for Rugby World Cup 2019 at the Asia Rugby General Assembly in Mongolia, and in keeping with the RWC theme, evidence of Asia’s growing importance in the global Game was attendance at the meeting by the senior officials of the 3 unions bidding for RWC 2023.
President Bernard Laporte from France; CEO Philip Browne from Ireland and President Mark Alexander from South Africa made impressively long journeys with their bid teams to Ulaanbaatar to make their case on 21 June.
Asia Rugby’s World Rugby Council Member, Trevor Gregory said: “It’s a great honour for Asia Rugby and our member unions that the 3 bidding unions have brought their 3 most senior bid officials all the way to Mongolia ahead of when they must submit their formal RWC 2023 tender on 1 June.
“This gave our own member unions an opportunity to hear first-hand the merits of each bid and, importantly, to ask what benefits their RWC would bring to Asia. Our member unions now have time to form their own opinions and await the RWC Board’s recommendation on 31 October, before informing me of their individual union preferences to enable me to vote accordingly on 15 November.”
Two World Rugby Council votes each for Japan and Asia Rugby effectively mean that 10% of the 39 votes available on RWC 2023 decision day on 15 November come from the Asia region.
Other key meetings and outcomes over the weekend were Asia Rugby’s Player Welfare & Medical Coordinator held a workshop focussing on a range of Player Welfare topics including Safeguarding of children; whilst Asia Rugby’s Development Committee approved that the Region’s annual Leading Rugby & Growing the Game Conference would this year be held in Dubai from 14-17 September.
Asia Rugby’s Competitions Committee agreed Asia Rugby Under 19 Championship formats in December and discussed use of the bonus points system, currently used in the Super Rugby and the French Top 14 competitions, in the 2018 Asia Rugby Championship.
World Rugby’s new General Manager for Women’s Rugby, Katie Sadleir attended a Gender Inclusion Workshop to gauge opinions and ideas from the region for a new global plan for Women’s Rugby to 2025.
Asia Rugby Council approved Kazakhstan’s readmission as a member union on 20 June.
Asia Rugby’s next General Assembly and end of year AGM will be held in Hong Kong on 19 November.