Rugby in Asia: China, Hong Kong Japan, and the Scottish connection
About the event:
Join us on 29th April at 12:00pm GMT for a webinar on rugby in Asia alongside an expert panel
We will discuss the huge growth of rugby in Asia with panellists who illustrate the influence of Scotland and the Scots on the game in the region. Rugby in Asia has been through great development in the past 20 years. The Hong Kong Rugby 7s tournament has put rugby in Asia on the world map and brought in funding and interest to help develop Asian teams. Japan is the powerhouse of rugby in Asia, illustrated by the fact that there are 125,000 rugby players and over 3,000 rugby clubs in Japan. In the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Japan beat Russia, Ireland, and Samoa, showing that Japan is now a world class rugby team. Women’s rugby in Asia also continues to grow, with developing teams such as China qualifying for the Olympics in Japan in 2021.
Rugby in Asia shows the influence of Scotland and the Scots, with so many involved in playing, coaching and managing the game in Asia. These include several members of our panel.
Robbie McRobbie, MBE, is CEO of the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) and a leader in the development of rugby in Asia. After studying History at the University of Oxford, Robbie joined the Royal Hong Kong Police where he utilised sport as a social tool in his work with Operation Breakthrough, set up and run by police officers, which helps at-risk young people find meaning through sport. Robbie became convinced that sport can be “a powerful medium to tackle social issues and effect positive change” and drove the “sport-for-development” agenda with the HKRU, which has included establishing a programme for deaf rugby players and team competed in the first major international deaf rugby tournament in Australia in 2018 and many of the players have gone on to join mainstream clubs. Robbie hails from Scotland and returns when he can to see his family in East Lothian.
Euan MacKintosh is Head Coach of the China Women’s Rugby 7s team. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh and went on to teach physical education and then coach rugby full time. Euan is helping the China women’s 7s team prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, where they will play against teams from leading rugby nations such as New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada and Britain.
Ada Milby is the President of the Philippine Rugby Football Union (PRFU), the first woman to hold this role. Ada is a leader and role model for women in sport and leadership. She was confirmed to continue her role as only the second female on the new Asia Rugby EXCO as a World Rugby Representative in her position of World Rugby Council Member. She is also the Chairperson of the Women’s Advisory Committee, working with eleven other Asian women to help develop the game. Ada continues to play the game of rugby at elite level and in doing so illustrates the strength of women’s rugby in Asia.