Singapore could be rugby hub for region

Singapore could be rugby hub for region
SRU chief Low Teo Ping has been elected vice-president of the Asian Rugby Football Union.

The road ahead is long but the Republic could one day become a hub for rugby in Asia.

At least that is the dream of Singapore Rugby Union president Low Teo Ping, who was on Monday elected vice-president of the Asian Rugby Football Union.

With bids in place to host both the Sevens World Series in 2015 and the 2018 World Cup Sevens tournament, the 68-year-old believes that Singapore's profile in the sport is on the rise.

"Hosting such events will place the focus on Singapore as a possible centre for the rest of the region," he said.

As the first Singaporean to hold such high office within the Asian governing body, he added that the appointment "provides a connection between Singapore and the regional arm of rugby".

"Through this, both organisations will be able to build and grow together," he said.

Hosting major events, however, is just one part of growing the sport in the Republic.

As last month's 10th-placed finish on home soil in the 12-nation HSBC Asian rugby sevens series suggested, Singapore have some way to go before they can hold their own against teams like Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.

"It's about time we tried to break into the regional arena," said Teo, who took charge of the SRU in 1995.

To that end, he revealed that plans are afoot to create a development pathway for players from the 100-plus primary schools to the 30 or so secondary schools which offer the sport as a co-curricular activity.

"Starting next year, we will have neighbourhood schools offering Direct School Admission through rugby," he said.

"This will help keep teams together and we intend to go into it in a big way."

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