Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: The future of rugby is in the east

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor
    Moderator
    Burgs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Country WA
    Posts
    21,574
    vCash
    5000000
    MO-vember Donator Member of the Order of TWF TWF Contributor!

    The future of rugby is in the east

    C/o www.theroar.com.au

    The future of rugby is in the east

    by Andrew Logan - September 26th 2007

    A recent holiday in Thailand, although poorly scheduled over the early rounds of the Rugby World Cup, afforded me some interesting insights into the state of rugby in Asia. It also highlighted the mindboggling shortsightedness of the IRB - and the utter hypocrisy of the major rugby nations in the way they vote to control the destiny of the second tier rugby countries – particularly in their decision to award the 2011 World Cup to New Zealand.

    My holiday hosts Thailand currently rank 74 in the IRB World Rankings. Its neighbours Malaysia and Singapore are 70 and 53 respectively. China looks like a sleeper at 45, and then we rocket all the way up to Hong Kong at 28, on the fringes of serious rugby given that Namibia are at 24 and are featuring in the current World Cup. Korea is actually one higher at 23, and the competitive Japanese are 18th in the world as of September 24, 2007. So there is no shortage of Asian countries playing and taking the sport seriously, even though few are genuine second tier forces right now.

    Economically, Asia is the centre of world attention, and it is likely that the attention won’t wane in the next 5 or 10 years – at least while China and India (ranked 84 by the IRB) keep growing at a rate of knots and underpinning regional and world economies with their appetite for resources. The middle class lifestyles afforded by this new-found prosperity will very likely include increased leisure and involvement in sport.

    Turn on the TV in Thailand over the last few weeks and you would have found the Rugby World Cup matches broadcast both on ESPN and Star Sports, and a combination of live telecasts and replays were shown about 5 times a day every day. For the real hardcore, you could also catch The Rugby Show which gave all round updates, and even some repeat telecasts of the Hong Kong Tens – that’s right, not the the famous Hong Kong Sevens, but its little brother, the Tens.

    In Thailand, where rugby is far from the national sport, the Rugby World Cup still commanded a full page each day in the sports section of the Bangkok Post, and earlier this year, the Bangkok International Rugby Tens attracted over 20 teams from Australia, South Africa, the UK, Canada, Asia and the Pacific.

    X-treme Sports Wear, a company run by Eddie Evans (a former Canadian prop at 3 Rugby World Cups) supplies rugby gear to clubs across Asia and the globe, and has its headquarters in Bangkok.

    All this in a country which is 50 IRB rankings removed from the lowliest competitor at the current Cup.

    So the question is, if there is this much love for rugby in lowly Thailand, and if Asia as a whole is so obviously infatuated with the game - why is the next Rugby World Cup being held in New Zealand, the one country in world rugby where awareness of the game is surely at saturation point anyway, and which, as evidenced by accommodation problems during the last Lions tour, is simply to small to hold an event of this magnitude effectively?

    Japan particularly, and the Asian countries generally, are entitled to feel disgusted at the contrived IRB voting processes and narrow thinking which have ensured that rugby has missed its chance to stake a claim in the rapidly changing and newly leisure focused Asia, and rugby followers generally should be extremely concerned at the actions of those charged with developing the game globally.

    There is one part of the world where rugby growth will be explosive, far-reaching and lucrative if handled correctly.

    It’s unfortunately not New Zealand.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Bloody oath we did!"

    Nathan Sharpe, Legend.

  2. #2
    Veteran Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    4,550
    vCash
    5060000
    TWF Contributor! 141 Club Award
    And the bit I really don't get is that is not even a funding exercise for the NZRFU, as they are forecasting a loss of $30-48M for the whole thing.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    West Leederville
    Posts
    15,120
    vCash
    5064000
    Dry July! Tong Master 141 Club Award TWF Contributor! TWF Competition Winner!
    They have better RWC coverage over there than here!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  4. #4
    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    10,525
    vCash
    5006000
    Dry July! TWF Contributor! MO-vember Donator The Bronze Star of Faith
    why isnt that surprising...
    bet they have faster broadband as well

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

Similar Threads

  1. Commonwealth Games Sevens
    By Burgs in forum International Rugby
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 01-04-09, 09:31
  2. I Play Rugby
    By Mtbeaver in forum Rugby
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 16-11-07, 11:35
  3. Ballymore to become $25m academy
    By Burgs in forum Front Page News
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-07-07, 11:29
  4. Rugby in Canada
    By Burgs in forum Articles
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 18-06-07, 13:58
  5. Scottish Club Borders Reivers to close
    By Burgs in forum International Rugby
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-04-07, 22:16

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •