Sport

Will China learn to love rugby?

Published 1528 GMT (2328 HKT) January 11, 2017
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China wants to be at the front line of global rugby, in both the 15-a-side and sevens formats. David Rogers/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Its playing resources are relatively modest, although the numbers have nearly doubled in the past year. David Rogers/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
That has been partly aided by a $100 million deal signed by World Rugby with Alisports to spread the sport's message nationwide. ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
World Rugby -- CEO Brett Gosper is pictured center at a 2016 press conference in Hong Kong -- is pushing to make its mark on the world's biggest market. ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Previously, Chinese rugby has had a military background, but with fairly basic facilities. David Rogers/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
China's most notable rugby hallmark is the prestigious Hong Kong Sevens event, but it also hopes to stage major tournaments on the mainland. ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Its national sides are low down the global rankings but there is a push for that to change in both the men's game... Asia Rugby
...and that of the women, with the sevens format likely to be the easier area in which to initially grow the game. Asia Rugby