Rugby Union In Asia
Rugby union is a growing sport in Asia, governed by the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU). As of December 2009 there are 28 ARFU member unions, of whom 15 are full members of the International Rugby Board (IRB), and six further associate members of the IRB in Asia. The flagship tournament for promoting the sport in Asia is the Asian Five Nations, which launched in 2008, and which most recently in 2011 saw the national teams of Hong Kong (national team), Japan (national team), Kazakhstan (national team), Sri Lanka (national team) and the UAE, compete in the main tournament.
The sport in Asia is currently dominated by Japan, the only Asian nation to be represented on the IRB's executive council. The Japanese national team are so far the only Asian team to have competed in the Rugby World Cup, having appeared in all seven tournaments so far. Japan have been announced as the hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and will be the first Asian hosts of the tournament. Under the Japanese bid, Hong Kong and Singapore will also host matches.
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