First-Ever Rugby Club League Created in Pakistan
By Community | October 12, 2012
Rugby in Pakistan has received a huge boost with the announcement that a national club Fifteens league has been established to serve the burgeoning interest that exists in the Game there.
The league consists of 20 teams playing across a number of divisions with the winners being crowned Premier Champions. This first-ever formal club league in Pakistan represents another stage in the ongoing development of Rugby in Pakistan, which has been competing in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations and other regional tournaments for some time.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The news that another of our Member Unions has established a league with a robust structure is very heartening for us. An important aspect of the IRB’s work is to develop the Game, bring it to new territories and then continue to strengthen it where it already exists. This news is a huge boost for Rugby in Pakistan and, more broadly, for Asia.”
“Asian Rugby is on the rise. The HSBC Asian 5 Nations tournament is going from strength to strength and we have seen the emergence of a number of relatively new teams which are challenging the traditional order. The fact that Rugby World Cup 2019 is taking place in Japan is another milestone for the Game in Asia and will benefit Rugby at all levels throughout the region.”
An independent study highlights an 18 per cent increase in participation rates in Asia since Rugby World Cup 2007. The reasons for that growth have been attributed to the growing profile and success of Rugby World Cup, the IRB’s investment strategy and also Rugby’s re-introduction into the Olympic Games from 2016.
The IRB will invest GBP9 million into the development of Rugby in Asia between 2009-12. There has already been a significant uplift in China, where Rugby is played in schools, Sri Lanka and India as well as Japan, where the Game already has a rich history.
President of Pakistan Rugby Union Fawzi Khawaja said: “The establishment of this exciting competition is another step forward for Rugby in Pakistan. It will give certainty around how the game is played at domestic level, it will give real context to the Game at club level and will make talent identification easier as we seek to bolster the strength of our national side.”
“The Pakistan Rugby Union is serious about improving the quality and popularity of the sport here and we see this competition as another step along the way to making Pakistan a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.”