Asia Rugby and Rugby Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to further expand cooperation between two of the biggest regional governing bodies of World Rugby.
World Rugby Chairman, Bill Beaumont along with senior World Rugby officials, Rugby Africa officials and members of Asia Rugby’s Committee attended the signing ceremony.
The event was held at the Southern Sun The Cullinan hotel in Cape Town, South Africa.
Asia Rugby and Rugby Africa held their first collaboration meeting virtually in April, chaired by both Presidents, Qais Al Dhalai and Khaled Babbou, initiating the dialogue.
The initial discussion topics included an exchange of referees programme and a potential Afro-Asia XV Women’s Competition. This led to an unprecedented development whereby a female Asian referee, Japan’s Eri Kamimura, officiated a South Africa vs. Namibia Women’s XV match.
“It is a ground-breaking moment for Asia Rugby and Rugby Africa,” Qais Al Dhalai, the Asia Rugby President, said on the occasion. “We have been working on this project for six months, and we have already seen the collaboration in action with an exchange of match officials. The continental federations are joining hands to help create more opportunity and a better future for match officials and players.”
Rugby Africa President Khaled Babbou commented: “So today we are really happy as Rugby Africa will sign an MOU with Asia Rugby. I think it’s important that we start collaboration in a transversal way between regions. I would like to thank President Qais and Asia [Rugby], with all your competency, for making this happen.”