Guide to social rugby in China
The social rugby scene has grown tremendously in recent years and one of the real positives is that the teams competing are not purely expat-based teams.
We have already announced a number of popular Tens rugby tournaments that have taken place in recent months. In this guide to social rugby in China, we look at the teams and tournaments to keep an eye on.
What are the main social rugby tournaments in China?
There are more and more rugby tournaments being added to the yearly social rugby calendar in China, and the level and quality of the tournaments and teams are also improving. Here is a summary of some of the most well-known social rugby tournaments in China.
- March: Changzhou 10s
- April: Kowloon RugbyFest 10s / GFI HKFC Hong Kong 10s/ Suzhou Tens
- May: Xiamen Gulangyu Tens
- June: Beijing 10s / Shanghai 10s / Sichuan 7s
- November: Kunming 10s (Spring City Cup)
Xiamen Gulangyu Tens
The Xiamen-Gulangyu Tens is regarded as probably the biggest 10s rugby tournament on the mainland in China and is entering its 11th year in 2019.
All China Cup
There is also an expansive 15s rugby tournament called the All-China Cup. This rugby cup includes teams from all four regions of China. The Shanghai RFC (aka the Silver Dragons) from the East is the defending All China Cup champion.
Rugby in Northern China
In the past, rugby teams from northern China used to consist of predominantly Beijing teams (Bejing Devils, Bejing Aardvarks, Bejing Brothers and Bejing Ducks RFC). However, there are more rugby teams throughout the North of China now. These include the Qingdao Sharks, Jinan Tigers etc.
Due to the growth of rugby in the North, it is now divided up into three regions. The winners of the three regions then play each other to determine an overall champion of the north of China who will represent the region in the All-China Cup.
There also more Chinese teams playing with the North leading the charge there. The Beijing Provincial rugby team and Nongda Agricultural University (where rugby in China first began) both compete in the Beijing Cup.
Rugby in Southern China
The South of China features fewer rugby teams who can field regular XVs sides. The Guangzhou Rams have dominated the South China Cup in the past which also features Shenzhen Dragons, Xiamen Typhoons, Fuzhou Tigers, Foshan Sharks and Dongguang Bulldogs.
Rugby in Western China
The West is the most isolated and has the least number of rugby teams. The Chengdu Pandas, Chongqing Conquerers, Kunming Flying Tigers, and Chongqing Rangers are involved in the West China Cup.
Rugby in Eastern China
The East of China arguably has the most rugby teams of the four regions in China. Shanghai RFC, Shanghai Dolphins, Nanjing Rockets, Suzhou Late Knights, Hangzhou Harlequins and Changzhou Giants all play XVs rugby. There are additional teams that play and host 10s tournaments throughout the year organised on an ad hoc basis. Shanghai University of Sport plays in tens rugby tournaments in the region.
Semi-Finals: All China Cup 2019
The All China Cup is already in the semi-final stages for 2019 and will be contested in April.
- Guangzhou Rams (South) vs Beijing Devils (North) – 27th April
- Chengdu Pandas (West) vs Shanghai RFC (East) – 27th April
What is the Sino 10s
The Sino Tens league has been running since 2010 and includes 10s rugby events in Nanjing, Changzhou and Ningbo. More than 10 Chinese rugby clubs are listed and take part in these tournaments and a women’s and men’s league exists.
Women’s rugby in China
A number of the clubs listed also have a women’s rugby section, although we couldn’t find specific details on all ladies rugby competitions, some tournaments have women’s tens sections such as the Beijing Cup, Xiamen 10s and Chengdu 10s.
Some of the ladies rugby teams include Beijing Aardvarks Women’s Team, Beijing She Devils, Chengdu Ruckinreds, Fuzhou Tigers, Guangzhou Rams, Shanghai RFC, Shenzhen Dragons and Xiamen Mazus.
Touch rugby tournaments in China
Shanghai International Touch Tournament (SITT)
One of the most well-known touch rugby tournaments is the Shanghai International Touch Tournament (SITT). Usually, the annual tournament takes place in October but due to the Rugby World Cup, it will take place in November in 2019.
Thanks to Simon Jacobs for providing information on rugby in China.
Do you know of other contact and touch tournaments in China? Have we left your rugby team out? Get in touch with RugbyAsia247 and let us know.