Sports

SRU'S NEW BUSINESS ARM

In what is a first for any national sports association (NSA), the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) revealed yesterday that it has formed Rugby Singapore Pte Ltd, to run events for the next four years.

The move will free the SRU to focus on promoting the sport in Singapore, while the new company will weigh up organising top events here.

Next year's Rugby Sevens World Series event here will be Rugby Singapore's first commercial venture and Low is upbeat it will be a success.

"The NSA is about growing the sport, not funding or organising events. So we need to build a team with people from different backgrounds to help with the financial governance," Low explained.

"Rugby Singapore will drive the event, but we will, of course, be hiring event companies to help stage it.

"The company is in the process of being registered, and the manpower will be funded through a grant from Sport Singapore."

The Sevens World Series, Low said, will cost around $6 million to stage, and Rugby Singapore hopes to balance the books through sponsorship, merchandise and ticket sales.

The company will also help organise at least four Super Rugby matches here starting next year, when a team from Japan join the competition, which features teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The National Stadium will serve as a second home for the new Japanese outfit, who will only play South African clubs here.

The World Club 10s competition, which made its debut in Singapore last June, will not be held this year because of the South-east Asia (SEA) Games.