China Reveal Massive Rugby Budget In Bid To Become A Global Force In The Game

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Alisports, the sports arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is to invest $100 million in Chinese rugby over the next 10 years as part of an initiative to make the world’s most populous nation a force in the game.

The initiative aims to establish professional men’s and women’s leagues, a national sevens programme as well as attract and retain a million new players over the next five years through World Rugby’s “Get Into Rugby” project.

“World Rugby’s strategic mission is to grow the global rugby family. China is central to that mission,” World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper said at a ceremony in Shanghai.

“We are confident that we can build a strong and sustainable platform from which to ensure that China is in the best-possible position to become a major force on the international stage.”

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The target is to run the “Get Into Rugby” programme at 10,000 universities and schools in 20 provinces.

Other strands of the ambitious strategy include the training of 30,000 coaches and 15,000 match officials over the next four years.

World Rugby and Alisports signed a 10-year deal in April to increase playing numbers and bring major events to China.

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