About Asia Rugby (Background)
Asia Rugby is the Regional Association of World Rugby, the governing body for the global Game. Asia Rugby members comprise National Governing Bodies (Unions) for Rugby.
Asia Rugby’s main roles are to:
- Ensure strong governance and domestic Rugby structures across the region;
- Provide appropriate international competitions for member unions enabling national teams to develop their pathways to elite world competitions; and
- Inspire and assist our unions to grow the game, with a particular focus on youth; health; welfare; and life success;
The originally named Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) was founded in 1968 and now has 31 member unions across the length and breadth of the continent. Participation, together with the number of competitions over the past decade, has increased significantly, with now over 30 rugby events taking place each year.
The men’s 15’s Asia Rugby Championship (ARC), began in 1969 as the Asian Rugby Football Tournament (ARFT), and was, at that time, one of the oldest international Rugby tournaments in the World. The highly respected, ground-breaking, Asia Rugby Sevens Series (ARSS) is held over 3 legs and features the best 8 men’s and women’s teams in the Region. The ARSS is supported by the Asia Rugby Sevens Trophy series which incorporates promotion and relegation. In addition, Asia Rugby also stages Age Grade competitions for male and female players.
Asia comprises 60% of the world’s population and 80% of the world’s youth. In 2015, our member unions contributed 7.5% of the World Rugby playing population (539,669 of 7.23 million). Two of the world’s major sporting events will be taking place in Asia over the next 4 years: The Rugby World Cup (RWC) which shall be held in Japan in 2019, and the Summer Olympics, which will feature Rugby 7s, returning to Tokyo in 2020. In support of the RWC coming to Asia for the first time, Asia Rugby has embarked on an ambitious plan to increase its rugby population by an additional 1 million new participants (A1M project), working together with World Rugby and the RWC 2019 Impact Beyond legacy programme.
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