The Singapore Rugby Union recently strengthened ties with the French Rugby Federation, where the two governing bodies will work together in cooperation of talent development, technical assistance and sharing expertise in the form of coaching, youth development, communications and match officiating.
The two Rugby Unions had signed a bilateral agreement at the Pan Pacific Hotel last Friday evening.
France is one of rugby’s superpowers
Said Low Teo Ping, Singapore Rugby Union President “France is one of rugby’s global superpowers and it’s important for Singapore Rugby to learn from the very best. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between us will allow us to share resources but also allow Singapore players and officials to get practical experience in Europe. Besides hosting great events like Super Rugby and HSBC World Rugby 7s Series, we also want to be able to play great rugby.”
France’s rugby accolades include winning the Six Nations Championships 16 times and qualifying for the Rugby World Cup knockout stages of every tournament since its inception in 1987. France have also reached the finals three times, losing to New Zealand in 1987 and 2011 and to Australia in 1999. France also hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup, losing in the semi finals to England.
France bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup
They are bidding to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023 – the biggest sporting event on the planet after the Olympics and the Football World Cup, with 2.6 billion television viewers and more than 2.4 million fans purchasing tickets to watch the games at the stadiums.
Said France Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte, “The France 2023 bid is a boon to Paris 2024. For the International Olympics Council and World Rugby, it is a source of reassurance. By pulling out all the stops to host the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics, we are sending the message to the world that the existing infrastructure will be used and modernised, and that France is ready.”
He added “Recent experience shows that two international events are compatible with one another. Two years ago, Brazil hosted the 2014 Football World Cup. Then last year, Brazil hosted the Rio Olympic Games. The United Kingdom organised the Rugby World Cup in 2015, less than three years after the 2012 London Olympics. So France 2023 and Paris 2024 are mutually reinforcing.”
Sebastian Chabal, who won the Six Nations twice with France and is currently an ambassador for the #France2023 bid, added, “As a player, playing in a World Cup is something you aim for. I had the privilege of taking part in two World Cups and of paying one on home soil. If we are lucky enough to win the bid, the players who are there in 2023 will experience something out of the ordinary and will share moments of incredible intensity with the whole country, just like in 2007 when public enthusiasm was outstanding.”
2015 Rugby World Cup was the most connected edition ever with major growth recorded
At the 2015 Rugby World Cup in London, Japan’s success had helped Asian audiences to grow by 69 per cent and live audiences increased by 221 per cent, according to research by Nielsen. The 2015 edition was also the most connected edition ever, with major growth in live audiences, online penetration and capturing new markets.
Said Low, “There were 2,000 Singaporeans who watched the 2015 Rugby World Cup. And the cup is coming to Asia for the first time in 2019. I have no doubt that after the Rugby World Cup in Japan, there will be even more rugby fans in Asia. No matter who wins the bid, the biggest winner will be rugby itself.”
Tenth edition of the Cup in 2023
The 2023 edition will be the tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the invention of the sport by William Webb Ellis. Ireland and South Africa are also placing bids for the 2023 edition of the tournament.