Heady days for S'pore rugby

Heady days for S'pore rugby
Interview with Singapore Rugby Union president Low Teo Ping.

Singapore rugby is set for a huge shot in the arm over the next two days.

The sport will take centrestage at the new 55,000-capacity National Stadium when the inaugural World Club 10s kick off today.

Featuring world class players like Piri Weepu and David Pocock, and top club names including Australia's Brumbies, the Auckland Blues and Biarritz Olympique, fans here are in for a treat, especially when the action explodes at the brand-new stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub.

These are exciting times for the sport here, according to Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) president Low Teo Ping.

In an interview with The New Paper yesterday, Low, 69, explained that staging the 10s and possibly one leg of the Sevens World Series, is all part of a strategy towards boosting youth development in the country.

"We saw the potential in sanctioning an international 10s tournament here, together with organisers Carinet Sports Marketing," said Low.

"But sanctioning was just a small part; SRU needed to make sure that it helps develop Singapore rugby.

"So we did it under the condition that the funds from ticket sales and the sanctioning fee would all go towards our development fund.

"Also, hosting the 10s increases our international stature, and it helps us in our bid for the IRB Sevens Series, for example. So, it's quid pro quo."

Organisers Carinet, who own the Asia Pacific Dragons, decided to make the side the "home" team for this weekend's 10s tournament, and Singapore international Reiner Leong is part of the squad of Asian and Pacific Island stars.

An estimated 12,000 tickets have already been sold for the event, and the figure is expected to hit 15,000 after tournament-day sales.

The current deal will see the World Club 10s event in Singapore for five years, and the National Stadium could also witness the return of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Series next year.

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