US$100 million to be invested into rugby in China by Alibaba’s sports division

In a bid to popularise rugby in China, Alisports unveils plans thier plan to get one million players involved in the game.

Professional leagues for men and women will be established, along with a national sevens programme. This will be alongside a huge mass participation project that is to be launched in 10,000 universities and schools.

The goal of this project is to attract 1 million new players to the game within a 5 year period, including recruitment of 30,000 coaches and 15,000 match officials. Alisports will also be launching a national marketing programme to promote the sport on its TV and digital channels.

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“Rugby is a great Olympic team sport with strong values, which is why we are so excited about its undoubted potential in China,” said Zhang Dazhong, CEO of Alisports in a statement issued by World Rugby.

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“We have a great partner in World Rugby and together we will work tirelessly to promote the development of rugby in China with a goal of inspiring one million new players in five years.

“With the support of World Rugby and a strong strategic plan, we believe that rugby in China will take off as an attractive, inclusive mass-participation sport of sportsmanship and character.”

Big news in the World Rugby sphere, and who knows; perhaps New Zealand can finally be beaten come 2020.

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