Rebels v Saders in Singapore

2011-11-07 08:58
Melbourne - Super rugby's Melbourne Rebels and Crusaders have signed up to play pre-season games in Singapore in a bid to take advantage of the Asian market's growing interest in the game.

Rebels Chiefs Executive Steve Boland said Singapore's large expatriate community and the number of people participating in the sport there made it an ideal choice.

Rugby is gaining ground in Asia, with Japan set to host the 2019 World Cup, while Hong Kong and Tokyo have hosted Bledisloe Cup games between Australia and New Zealand.

"We have signed a contract with a Singapore promoter to play Super Rugby trial matches with the Crusaders," the Australian newspaper quoted Boland as saying.

"There is a great expatriate market in Singapore, which has 6 500 registered players. If we have a connection with Singapore and the Rebels become the Super Rugby team of choice, that will be fantastic."

Boland said that while the chances of staging pre-seasons games in the city-state next year were only "50-50" they would definitely happen in 2013 and 2014.

"Asia is an important market. We are all over it like a rash. It's great to have a team like the Crusaders share our vision."

Other Super rugby teams could follow their lead, with Australia's Brumbies and Waratahs also reported to be considering playing in Asia.


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