Ross Mitchell, Honorary Secretary General of ARFU said, "The Asian Five Nations has inherited a significant legacy in taking over from the Asian Rugby Football Tournament and, with the assistance of one of the world's great sports sponsors HSBC, every effort will be made to ensure it becomes an important and prestigious event in the regional and international rugby calendar.
Reflecting the scale of this new initiative, the ARFU is securing a six-week TV package on a leading regional broadcaster to further increase the profile and awareness of rugby throughout the region.
The Shaheen U-20 side plays the ARFU
U-20 7s on August 16-17, while the senior side plays in Hong Kong in the Asian 7s on August 23-24 and in Kuala Lumpur on September 6-7.
The democratically-elected officials of the ARFU
have informed the IRB that the letter should not have been sent as it does not represent the views of A RFU.
Since the 2012 Annual Meeting of IRB Council, the UAE Under-19 national team has participated in an ARFU
Division 3 tournament and, through this tournament was promoted to Division 2 in 2013.
We are also very pleased to have the full support of the IRB and ARFU
in delivering this initiative and most importantly the patronage of Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum [Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and First Vice-President of the Board of Directors at the UAE National Olympic Committee].
This initiative, developed by UAE Rugby and supported by the Hong Kong RFC, ARFU
and the IRB, will provide an extra layer of activity identified by the IRB as being critical to the development of nations who wish to improve their international rugby standing.
The season culminates in an ARFU
West Asia Final between the UAE Premiership and North Gulf Four champions.
Already considered a hit in other developing rugby nations such as India, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Chile, Colombia and Russia and with member unions integrating the information as an integral part of educational programmes it was a high priority to support the newly welcomed ARFU
member, UAE Rugby, into this group.
has essentially recognised our ability to govern, organise and finance a realistic plan to develop rugby in the UAE.
HSBC is also helping to promote the game in the region through this year's HSBC ARFU
Rugby Coaching Tour, which is coming to Dubai next month as part of the build-up to the UAE's game against Japan on May 13.
So whether that will be the UAE ARFU
or the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU
) we don't know," Cole said.