The Jordan Rugby Committee, Qatar Rugby Federation and Turkish Rugby Federation have been welcomed as World Rugby associate members, bringing the number of national unions in membership to 127.
World Rugby’s supreme decision-making body approved the recommendation of the Executive and Regional Committees to accept the three unions as associate members after each demonstrated the necessary governance criteria.
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Jordan and Qatar have been making strides in Asia. Qatar’s first rugby club was first established in 1974 with international representation coming in 2006.
Jordan has a thriving women’s game and the men’s team made their international 15s debut in 2010. Jordan also holds the record for the lowest-ever rugby match, played at 400 metres below sea level.
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World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “As part of our continuing commitment to grow and diversify the global game we are delighted to welcome Jordan, Qatar and Turkey as associate members of World Rugby, three unions who have an exciting rugby appetite and potential.
“Being part of the rugby family will accelerate rugby’s growth in these countries by providing them with continuous support and a solid framework to develop the three unions in a sustainable and efficient way.”
Asia Rugby President Qais Al-Dhalai said ” It has been a privilege to support Jordan Rugby in developing the game. Jordan Rugby’s success is a great example of a Regional Association and a union working together as a team. The efforts of the dedicated men and women in Jordan Rugby has paid off! The whole of Asia Rugby celebrates with Jordan Rugby.”
Jordan Rugby Committee Chairman, HRH Prince Mired Ra’ad Zaid Al-Hussain said: “On behalf of the Jordan Rugby community, I would like to thank all members of World Rugby for electing Jordan Rugby as an associate member. It is a very important step in the development of rugby in Jordan and a deserved reward after the tremendous efforts made over the last 10 years by everyone involved in this great game.”
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Asia Rugby President Qais Al-Dhalai said “It has been a privilege to work with Qatar Rugby’s development team for the last few years. It is encouraging to see the progress made in a short period of time. We would be delighted to support QRF further in the years to come.”
Qatar Rugby Federation President Yousef Al Kuwari said: “On behalf of the Qatar Rugby Federation and all rugby players and fans in the country, we are pleased and honoured to become an associate member of World Rugby. With 40 years of rugby in Qatar, this recognition will support the game’s growth in our country and hopefully improve our competitiveness on the international stage.”