In a historic move for Asia Rugby, two active member unions – Chinese Taipei Rugby Union (CTRU) and Singapore Rugby Union (SRU), announced to reopen their rugby borders in line with the progressive lifting of international Covid-19 restrictions.
The affirmation came after two years of inaction and was witnessed at Phuket Sevens in Thailand at the Committee meeting.
The announcement was sealed with immediate effect by the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the President of Chinese Taipei – Herman Huang and the President of Singapore Rugby- Terence Khoo. As per the MoU, the two-member nations have agreed to support each other in several ways, including conducting training and educational workshops, and undertaking coaching and officiating responsibilities.
Other than this, the two unions along with the support of Asia Rugby have also mutually decided to organize regular Test and friendly league matches for different age groups and help in streamlining the day-to-day operational and administrative duties.
Early discussions regarding restarting the bilateral ties between the two unions had begun in February this year and were initiated by the President of Asia Rugby – Qais Al-Dhalai – himself, in a bid to uplift the sport in developing unions.
Expressing his delight over a prompt action from both the unions, the President said, “I have always believed in the strong association between Singapore and Chinese Taipei and I am certain that by way of this MoU, Rugby will reach even greater heights.”
He lauded the efforts of Terence Khoo who as an Asia Rugby Executive Committee Member and World Rugby Council Member, tirelessly performed all his assigned duties with professionalism. Additionally, he also recognized the contribution of Herman Huang who with his vast experience in the capacity of an Executive Committee Member and now in his new role as the First Deputy of the Gender Equity Committee.
President Qais Al-Dhalai signed off with a message to both unions, “Singapore Rugby Union and Chinese Taipei Rugby Union are inking history by signing this vital MoU. Both unions are amongst the very active rugby bodies in Asia and resumed playing post a long pause due to COVID-19 restrictions in both countries.
It is evident that with this MoU signing, athletes in both countries will benefit immensely with bilateral exchanges of various programs.”
Terence Khoo added “I am delighted that with the easing of covid restrictions and borders opening up, we are now able to rekindle the special relationship between both unions which has been forged since 2013 during our Asia Tri-Nations Tournament.
Both nations have played each other in Asia Rugby competitions, but we wanted to ensure that this special relationship can continue to grow deeply and that our fixture would be something we could look forward to annually.
Moreover, we wanted to share resources and support each other on and off the field as we progress together in rugby as a region.”