National Stadium set to host more top rugby sides
History will be made at the National Stadium on June 10 when two top-tier rugby nations, Scotland and Italy, face off in an international Test for the first time on Singapore soil.
Neither side are asking for appearance fees for their Singapore sojourn, with the "outstanding" venue at the Singapore Sports Hub a big factor for them coming here.
And it will open Singapore's doors to more top rugby teams, from as early as December.
"This match is a precursor of a lot more to come, Before the year is out, in December, we will see a match between one northern hemisphere team against one from the southern hemisphere," said Singapore Rugby Union president Low Teo Ping, at Ital Auto's Ferrari showroom on Leng Kee Road on Friday.
He was speaking at the official announcement of the Italy-Scotland Test, with representatives from both countries also paying tribute to the Sports Hub's crown jewel.
"It is an outstanding world-class facility that the stadium provides, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to make history with this match... and to globalise our brand," said Dominic McKay, chief operating officer of Scottish Rugby.
And with the Rugby World Cup going to Japan in 2019, Singapore could well play host to more from rugby's royalty.
"This is a good base for us to prepare for the 2019 Rugby World Cup," said Italy team manager Luigi Troiani.
"Next year, we have a Tour in Japan, so we might want another match in Singapore before that. Singapore has all the facilities to help us prepare for Japan."
Low revealed that the SRU did not have to splash the cash to bring Scotland and Italy here - unlike top-level football teams who often demand big appearance fees for trips abroad.
"They are here for mutual benefit - we get top-level rugby action and they get to push their brands in this region, while also helping their players acclimatise and get over jet lag before they go on to play other matches in this part of the world," said Low, who revealed that a television deal for the match is also being negotiated.
Both Scotland and Italy are stopping in Singapore en route to Australasia where they will play Test matches in June.
“This is a good base for us to prepare for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.”Italy rugby team manager Luigi Troiani on Singapore
It will be a similar situation ahead of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Singapore will host a leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series next weekend, with Super Rugby side Sunwolves also playing some of their home games here.
Italy have been designated as the home team for the Test, with Low hoping to build on what is a good track record of hosting world-class rugby.
Ticketing details for the Italy-Scotland fixture will be announced at a later date.