The Asia Rugby Grand League (ARGL) is set to launch in May 2024, with leaders from 12 targeted unions joining the consultative meeting held in Singapore yesterday. The meeting was attended by unions’ presidents and CEOs of Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, China, Thailand, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Pakistan joining in person and others from Japan, Kazakhstan, Philippines and Malaysia joining virtually.
During the meeting, the concept and initial format of the league were discussed and a high-powered steering committee chaired by Asia Rugby President was formed to take the project forward. The ARGL will gradually increase the number of participating clubs, starting with 4 clubs and ultimately reaching 12 clubs by the Rugby World Cup year 2027 in Australia.
Asia Rugby Grand League is set to launch in 2024. Leaders from 12 unions joined the inaugural hybrid meeting in Singapore. Chaired by Asia Rugby President @QaisUAE.
— Asia Rugby (@asiarugby) February 3, 2023
Asia Rugby President, Qais Al Dhalai shared the vision of the Grand League: “The ARGL has been developed to outline our strategic and key performance goals, leading to a high-performance clubs rugby tournament that will help grow the fifteens aside game in Asia and benefit national teams in the future to compete at a high-performance level.” The league aims to create a world-class club rugby league to ensure a robust, sustainable, and commercially viable future for the game.
The ARGL promises to bring a new look to rugby competitions in Asia with the use of innovative technology in the likes of artificial intelligence and experimentation with law variations. The league plans to partner with major international and local commercial partners to secure the necessary funding, including broadcasting and media rights, merchandise sales, and other commercial activities.
A comprehensive marketing and promotion campaign will be launched to raise awareness of the tournament and engage fans, with a focus on a strong online presence, social media campaigns, and traditional marketing activities.
The meeting was successful with positive inputs from all attending unions, including a comprehensive presentation by the Hong Kong Rugby Union sharing their experience with past franchise team South China Tigers. Malaysia Rugby and Singapore Rugby unions have also expressed their experiences with Malaysia Valke and Asia Pacific Dragons franchises teams respectively which were playing at the Global Rapid Rugby in 2019 and 2020 before it gets abandoned owing COVID-19 pandemic.