Chinese rugby set for $100m investment

12:50 PM GMT

Chinese rugby is set to receive $100 million in investment over the next 10 years in an effort to make the world’s most populous nation a global force in the game.

World Rugby announced Wednesday that Alisports, the sports arm of e-commerce company Alibaba, will provide funding for their “Get Into Rugby” project, which they hope will grow the sport in China.

The strategy aims to attract and retain one million new players over the next five years, as well as the establishment of men’s and women’s professional leagues plus a national sevens programme.

Rugby’s world governing body hopes the programme will be integrated at 10,000 universities and schools across 20 provinces, as well as the training of 30,000 coaches and 15,000 match officials within the next four years.

“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 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.”

Alisports chief executive Zhang Dazhong added: “Rugby is a great Olympic team sport with strong values, which is why we are so excited about its undoubted potential in China.

“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.”

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