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Chinese Rugby

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Chinese Rugby

Postby Thomas » Wed, 04 Jan 2017, 11:12

The following Article was published in the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia and The Telegraph in the UK. Does anyone here have a link to Club Rugby in China and what is your take based on the article below: I have pasted the article in it's entirety.? The article has been picked up by the Asian news services.

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union ... tlkwy.html also look at the statistical information that has been written

When Japan beat South Africa in Brighton at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the tremor from the shock result was felt over 8,000 miles away in Beijing.


Image
At the helm: Ben Gollings, England Sevens' record points scorer and head coach of the Chinese men's and women's sevens sides. Photo: Getty Images

While Japan has a long history in rugby, it is a sport that until recently had little place in the Chinese consciousness. That, though, is set to change.
Even before Japan's victory, discussions were under way between World Rugby, the Chinese government and AliSports, the sporting arm of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, over investment in the country's rugby structure.

For World Rugby and AliSports, such negotiations offered scope for a dramatic expansion in a new market. For China, it provided a chance to beat their bitter rivals in years to come but, more importantly, the potential opportunity to excel at another world sport.

[i]["Do I see the day when China play England at Twickenham? One day you would hope that will happen. It is a question of when really," says Brett Gosper, chief executive of World Rugby.

If the Chinese have their way then the 'when' will be sooner than anyone had initially dreamt. Throughout negotiations the Chinese government felt both World Rugby and AliSports were being too cautious.

So when it was announced in October that AliSports had agreed to invest $US100 million ($138.5 million) in Chinese rugby over the next 10 years, the programme was startling in its scale and speed.

"We sat down with the Chinese government department [the Multiball Games Administrative Centre of General Administration of Sport] to go through some of the targets and the ones we had fixed were not as ambitious as the ones they ended up fixing," says Gosper.

"We said to them we want a million players in the next 10 years. They said make it five. We will also have 30,000 coaches and 15,000 officials in China by 2020."
A key part of this plan is to make a play for huge events in an effort to inspire people to take up the sport. Negotiations are underway for the country to host rugby's first $US1 million ($1.67 million) match, as part of an end-of-year sevens tournament that could take place as early as this year. It is also hoped China will bid to host the Rugby World Cup as early as 2027.

"We are very much interested in bidding for the world's major rugby tournaments," says Weihong Cui, secretary general of the Chinese Rugby Football Union. "The Chinese government has been giving full support to developing sport in China, especially hosting major influential sport games. The AliSports investment will inject vigour into the development of rugby in China."

"They think big," confirms Gosper. "In their minds they think two or three World Cups away is possible. We have said you have to be competitive as a nation and you have to have an interest in the volume to sell around two million tickets”.

It would be great for strategic reasons for them to host it, but it also has to be right for the commercial look and feel of the tournament.
"Then we are in the process of discussing a Masters Sevens tournament, which could be held as early as this year. It would be the top eight of the World Series finishers competing for the highest ever prize money we have seen in sevens - like the Barclays ATP Tournament in tennis.

"In order to be seen as a premier event it needs something specific, and prize money would seem to be a good way of doing that."

The prize money will come from AliSports, whose parent company turned over $US12 billion ($16.6 billion) last year. It is expected to put rugby front and centre of its TV and digital platforms as it takes advantage of the Chinese government's decision to relax state control of sports in late 2015, having already invested in FIFA's Club World Cup, the NFL and boxing.
There is confidence the interest is there, as evidenced by the fact 44 million people in China watched sevens at the Rio Olympics - double the number in the UK and second only to the United States worldwide.

The scope of the project has never been seen in rugby before, but the will of the Chinese government to make it happen means those involved are confident of success, with a professional sevens and XVs league to start almost from scratch, either at the end of this year or the start of next.

Some overseas players will be recruited, and outside help is expected on the coaching and administrative side, although China's unique culture means they will drive it themselves rather than rely on foreign influence.

"There is a 'save face' culture in China, and that is very important," says Ben Gollings, England Sevens' record points scorer and head coach of the Chinese men's and women's sevens sides for a year until this summer. "You cannot go there as a foreigner and say, 'I am everything and I underpin it all.' They won't work with you if you do that - you have to support them and give them ideas, and you get a lot more support back that way."

China has only 76,000 registered players, although that number is already 40 per cent higher than at the end of 2014. It is a huge jump to get to a million in five years, but Gollings believes it is possible.

"A million players playing rugby is really quite small when you consider the population size [1.736 billion]," he says.

"As soon as they get rugby into the universities and schools that will propel it forward. Rugby is growing in Asia, and the government have targeted it as a small-balls sport they can perform in, and when it comes to hosting events they aren't shy.

"For now it is very much sided towards the provinces. Most run a men's and women's team but not all.

"There is no question China has the athletes and they have an incredible infrastructure. We were a live-in team and trained at Olympic training facilities, and there are three or four of those in every province that are as good as any Premiership rugby club has."

Qualifying for the Olympics is also a key part of the plans, and the national side are expected to start cherry-picking athletes from other sports to boost their hopes of qualifying for Tokyo 2020 - hopes improved by the fact that Japan qualify automatically as hosts.

At present China's women's team - who won bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympics - are considered a better bet than the men, having narrowly missed out on Rio under Gollings's stewardship, although Cui says both men's and women's sides are 'expected' to qualify.

And as the sport enters a new era, one of expansion away from the core markets of the Six Nations and southern hemisphere giants, there is a feeling China's hugely ambitious plans could just work.
"The time is right," says Gollings. "They have the infrastructure and the mass of people to be able to do it. Japan are such big rivals and their success will propel the sport's growth. The key factor is to have people driving the right way to make it happen quicker. If they can pull it all together there is no reason it can't happen."


By the numbers: How China is playing the long game
1m
Number of registered players China hopes to have by 2022, up from 76,000 at present.
30,000
Number of coaches they hope to have by 2020.
44m
Number of people who watched the Olympic Sevens in China.
$100m
The amount that AliSports will pump into Chinese rugby.
2020
China expect both their men's and women's teams to qualify for the next Olympic Games.
2027
The year China could bid to host the World Cup

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby eal22 » Wed, 04 Jan 2017, 15:38

I wonder if Sevens is the more realistic avenue for them than 15-a-side? At least to make large gains in the short term and get the sport in the public consciousness.

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby victorsra » Wed, 04 Jan 2017, 18:03

There was already a thread about this viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1088&hilit=alibaba
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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby jservuk » Wed, 04 Jan 2017, 20:22

$100m is a huge figure and should definitely help. But then my attention was drawn to $50m paid for soccer players to adorn their fledgling league.

We all know that the soccer madness in China will crash as it is unsustainable, but $100m over 10 years suggests they are very clever and are playing the long, long game to build a genuinely sustainable grass roots sport.

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby Thomas » Wed, 04 Jan 2017, 22:17

Couldn't find the other thread... cheers

Yeah this is a long game... think of cricket test match. I wonder what is Alibaba getting out of all of this. the return won't be seen for many years. Also interesting timetable

Hosts in 10 years? Is this Doable? will WR raise their head above the parapet ?

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby Neptune » Thu, 05 Jan 2017, 08:22

This is actually a step in the right direction. With Cricket having India with a population of over 1bn, Rugby getting a strong interest in China will be good for W.R, since China also has 1bn + people. But, the question is, how long will it take Alibaba before they start seeing profits plus also a ROI. (Return On Investment.)

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Thu, 05 Jan 2017, 09:29

Neptune wrote:This is actually a step in the right direction. With Cricket having India with a population of over 1bn, Rugby getting a strong interest in China will be good for W.R, since China also has 1bn + people. But, the question is, how long will it take Alibaba before they start seeing profits plus also a ROI. (Return On Investment.)


They must see some kind of returns to initiate the investment in the first place.

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby Silver Fox » Thu, 05 Jan 2017, 20:46

Found this article from 10 years ago:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/2338850/China-a-dragon-in-the-making.html
What will the article look like come 2026?

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby Paula Bale » Thu, 05 Jan 2017, 21:39

I remember a ripple of news many years back about rugby becoming the official sport of the Chinese Army. Nothing came of that, either.

Edit: Looks like it was doomed to fail:

Chinese army passes on rugby
2 Feb, 2000

China seems to have dropped plans to teach 2.5 million soldiers how to play rugby, according to New Zealand army chief Major General Maurice Dodson.

A New Zealand army officer in China last year was approached by the Peoples Liberation Army for help in providing rugby coaches.

When asked how many coaches they wanted, the PLA replied 4000, the Dominion newspaper said Wednesday.

"He gasped and said we couldnt do that," Dodson said.

Dodson, who has just returned from China, said he tried to find out what had happened to the rugby plan.

"We asked at one point what they were doing about rugby and I got the impression that whoever was trying to make it a big thing had gone off the boil on it," he said.

"I wasnt actually pushing it because I didnt want to get a request for about 4000 rugby coaches."

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby victorsra » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 14:35

Brazilian Rugby News: www.portaldorugby.com.br

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby ficcp » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 16:37

The Development of chinese Rugby is a long term project with or without Alibaba´s resources. If we accept the figure of 33 millions fans (Nielsen´s report, 2018) The main task would be to transform some of the younger fans into players , which requires a full structure of coaches, administrators, referees, pitches , etc. The women VII got a place for Tokyo but that achievement is far away to a classification to a XV World Cup.

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby victorsra » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 18:10

33 million is false probably. You don't have 33 million with only a handfull thousand players. The same Nielsen gave a ludicrous number of fans for Brazil. I ignore their numbers. They proably count people that have once saw a rugby ball. It is very bad for sport this sort of number. Misleads a lot.
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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby victorsra » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 18:19

Found. Nielsen gave 16 million fans in Brazil. Laughable rubbish.
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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby Edgar » Tue, 21 Jan 2020, 08:10

Posted on the Rugby Union Banter Group's Facebook page:

"PLAY RUGBY IN CHINA
Weird, I know.
Amateur rugby teams across China are always recruiting foreign talent. You'll be given help finding a job nearby and you'll be able to travel the country on rugby tours to Beijing, Shanghai, Shanzhen, Chengdu and Guangzhou to name a few.
Rugby is a growing sport in China. Spread the rugby word.
You must be able to commit to a full year. This is not a holiday. You'll live and work in an amazing place. There is no fee, you'll not be charged anything by anyone.
**For visa regulation purposes, you must have a bachelors degree**"


Image

Wow :shock: what an opportunity! I would have certainly considered this in my youth. It's a long time ago now that I lived and worked briefly in Shanghai, and the well-off were still very much in the minority then - surrounded by basically Third World squalor. My guess is, the Chinese are never going to take up this sport for the fun of it. But if the women's team do well at the Olympics that will be an important boost for national pride and prestige. Cue Andrew Forrest and the upcoming GRR series, including the proposed Shanghai-based franchise, & if it can be shown that rugby is an economically viable enterprise, it may just take root in some of the major coastal centers. This year could be the start of something big for rugby on the Chinese mainland. :thumbup:

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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby victorsra » Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 13:24

http://www.portaldorugby.com.br/noticias/mesaoval169

We interviewed in our podcast Gabriel Cenamo, a Brazilian coach (former Brazilian women's national team assistant) that worked briefly in China last year. He coached the team of Luzhou, in the Sichuan province.

He said the structure is very good, but the focus is totaly on sevens and most players are in rugby due to a government's program that offers university opportunities for athletic students. So most of them did not know rugby before starting playing it to get an university opportunity.
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Re: Chinese Rugby

Postby Tobar » Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 14:24

Edgar wrote:Posted on the Rugby Union Banter Group's Facebook page:

"PLAY RUGBY IN CHINA
Weird, I know.
Amateur rugby teams across China are always recruiting foreign talent. You'll be given help finding a job nearby and you'll be able to travel the country on rugby tours to Beijing, Shanghai, Shanzhen, Chengdu and Guangzhou to name a few.
Rugby is a growing sport in China. Spread the rugby word.
You must be able to commit to a full year. This is not a holiday. You'll live and work in an amazing place. There is no fee, you'll not be charged anything by anyone.
**For visa regulation purposes, you must have a bachelors degree**"


Image

Wow :shock: what an opportunity! I would have certainly considered this in my youth. It's a long time ago now that I lived and worked briefly in Shanghai, and the well-off were still very much in the minority then - surrounded by basically Third World squalor. My guess is, the Chinese are never going to take up this sport for the fun of it. But if the women's team do well at the Olympics that will be an important boost for national pride and prestige. Cue Andrew Forrest and the upcoming GRR series, including the proposed Shanghai-based franchise, & if it can be shown that rugby is an economically viable enterprise, it may just take root in some of the major coastal centers. This year could be the start of something big for rugby on the Chinese mainland. :thumbup:


Yeah the Beijing Ducks constantly show up in my Instagram feed advertising this.

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