Your Guide to the Asia Rugby 2021 Competitions
The Asia Rugby 2021 Competitions calendar was announced this week for the national teams in the region, which include the women’s and men’s fifteens Asia Rugby Championships that will determine RWC 2021 and RWC 2023 qualifiers from Asia.
In addition, the Asia Rugby Sevens Series, Asia Rugby U19 Men’s Fifteens Tournament, U18 Boys and Girls and other Asia Rugby 2021 Competition dates have been confirmed or have a placeholder date. The schedules for all Asian rugby tournaments in 2020 were wiped out due to COVID-19.
Asia Rugby President, Mr Qais Al Dhalai said: “We are very excited about the Return of Rugby across Asia, some of our unions have already kicked off their domestic tournaments and it’s the time now for international rugby as well”.
Asia Rugby 2021 15s Competitions
Asia Rugby Women’s Championship (Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifier)
Hong Kong was due to host the Asia Rugby Women’s Championship (ARWC), which was initially scheduled for 2020, from 5-13 March 2021. The championship will also determine the qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup 2021 which has been confirmed to start in September 2021 in New Zealand.
On February 10th, it was confirmed the qualifiers would be postponed again!
Hong Kong will compete with Japan and Kazakhstan in a round-robin format. The winner will represent Asia at the RWC 2021 and feature in Pool B with Canada, USA and Europe 1 (TBC).
The runner-up in the ARWC will still have a chance to qualify for the Rugby World Cup by competing in the repechage tournament to take place later in 2021.
Women’s ARC 2021 Fixtures
- TBC: Hong Kong V Japan
- TBC: Kazakhstan V Japan
- TBC: Hong Kong V Kazakhstan
Asia Rugby Women’s Division 1
The ARWD1 details are still to be finalised but the competing nations should be the Philippines, India, Singapore and China.
- Due Date: TBC
- Venue: TBC
Asia Rugby Men’s Championship (ARMC) & RWC 2023 Qualifer
The Asia Rugby Men’s Championship (ARMC) will see Hong Kong, South Korea, and Malaysia challenge for top honours from May-June 2021. The format will be the same as previous years with the national teams playing each other home and away in the group, however, in 2021 the ARMC is a qualification pathway for the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.
Asia Rugby says the winning ARMC nation will play Oceania 2 in a one-off game which will be hosted by the team with the highest ranking*. The winner of the one-off match will secure a direct spot in the RWC 2023, and the loser will proceed to the final qualification tournament. (*Earlier in the year, the details announced for the RWC 2023 qualification were different so we will wait and see).
The draw for the RWC 2023 takes place on 14th December 2020.
Men’s ARC 2021 Fixtures
- 22 May ARMC M1: South Korea V Malaysia (Incheon)
- 29 May ARMC M2: Malaysia V Hong Kong (Kuala Lumpur)
- 5 June ARMC M3: South Korea V Hong Kong (Incheon)
- 12 June ARMC M4: Malaysia V South Korea (Kuala Lumpur)
- 19 June ARMC M5: Hong Kong V Malaysia (Hong Kong)
- 26 June ARMC M6: Hong Kong V South Korea (Hong Kong)
Asia Rugby Men’s Championship Division 2
The ARMC Division 2 will see Pakistan, Thailand, China, Taipei challenge for the title.
Currently, the tournament is scheduled to take place in Lahore, Pakistan in Q4 2021. Its possible the format will be semi-finals and a final.
We assume division winners will gain promotion while the bottom-placed team will be relegated as per previous years.
Men’s ARC Division 2 Fixtures 2021
- Due Date: TBC
- Venue: Lahore, Pakistan
Asia Rugby Men’s Championship Division 3
The details for the ARMC Division 3 are still to be confirmed. Tentative dates for April 2021 are suggested by Asia Rugby.
Asia Rugby U19 Men’s Championship Fifteens Tournament
The Asia Rugby U19 Men’s Fifteens Tournament which is a reschedule of 2020 tournament will commence on 31 March 2021, featuring Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong.
Asia Rugby said its “fully committed to the health and safety of players, fans and everyone working on the events” but a schedule of 3 full fifteens games for the U19s in the space of a week seems like quite a challenge for the players.
The age-grade rugby tournament will serve as the pathway to the Junior World Trophy 2021.
The actual Asia Rugby U19 Men’s Fifteens Tournament 2021 tournament will take place in November 2021 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Men’s U19 Men’s 15s Fixtures (2020 rescheduled tournament)
- 31 March: Taipei vs Korea, Hong Kong vs Sri Lanka
- 3 April: Taipei vs Hong Kong, Korea vs Sri Lanka
- 6 April: Sri Lanka vs Taipei, Hong Kong vs Korea
Men’s U19 Men’s 15s Fixtures 2021 (2021 tournament)
- 5 November: Taipei vs Korea, Hong Kong vs Sri Lanka
- 9 November: Taipei vs Hong Kong, Korea vs Sri Lanka
- 13 November: Sri Lanka vs Taipei, Hong Kong vs Korea
Asia Rugby U19 Men’s Division 1 Fifteens Tournament
Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines are set to challenge for the Asia Rugby U19 Men’s Division 1 in 2021 in Hat Yai, Thailand.
Men’s U19 Men’s Division 1 15s Fixtures 2021
- 8 December: Singapore vs Malaysia; Thailand vs the Philippines
- 11 December: Loser V Loser; Winner V Winner
Asia Rugby U19 Men’s Division 2 Fifteens Tournament
The details for the U19 Men’s Asia Rugby Division 2 are still to be confirmed, but a December date with China, UAE, Laos and Pakistan is provisional. Lahore, Pakistan is a possible host venue.
Asia Rugby 2021 Sevens Competitions
Asia Rugby Sevens Series 2021 (Men’s & Women’s)
The Asia Rugby Sevens Series is scheduled for three legs for the women and men, with the series being played in South Korea, China and Sri Lanka, from August to September 2021.
- 28-29 August – Asia Rugby Sevens Series Leg 1: Incheon, Korea
- 11-12 September – Asia Rugby Sevens Series Leg 2: Huizhou, China
- 25-26 September – Asia Rugby Sevens Series Leg 2: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Asia Rugby Men’s & Women’s Sevens Trophy
A date of 13-14 November 2021 has been set with the venue as Jakarta, Indonesia – but more details are to be confirmed.
Asia Rugby Under 20 Series Men’s & Women’s
A tentative October 2021 date has been set for the Asia Rugby Under 20 Women’s & Men’s Sevens.
Asia Rugby Under 18 Girls Sevens
A date of 18-19 September 2021 is scheduled for the Asia Rugby U18 Girls Sevens rugby, with Tashkent, Uzbekistan the possible host.
Asia Rugby Under 18 Boys Sevens
A date of 21-22 August 2021 is scheduled for the Asia Rugby U18 Boys Sevens rugby, with more details to be confirmed.
Beach & Snow Rugby in Asia
Mr Qais Al Dhalai also added that “Asia Rugby has also explored various innovative opportunities aiming at serving its member unions and fans in the forms of Beach Rugby, and Snow Rugby”.
No details for those tournaments have been announced but a placeholder in June for Beach Rugby does appear on the calendar.
The calendar of tournaments can also be seen on the Asia Rugby website.
Global Rugby events 2021
2021 is a busy year for rugby – In addition to the number of Asian rugby tournaments announced, there are some huge global rugby events taking place.
The Black Ferns (New Zealand) are the defending champions and will be favourites at their home RWC, the first to be played in the southern hemisphere.
Olympic 7s Tokyo
The Tokyo Olympics 7s rugby for women and men will be played in 2021 after the event was moved from 2020 due to coronavirus.
The men’s rugby 7s teams will play across the first three days (25-27 July 2021) with the finals set for Wednesday, July 28 2021. The women’s rugby sevens games will take place from the 29-30th July 2021 with the finals taking place on Saturday, July 31 2021.
Lions Tour to South Africa
The British & Irish Lions comprises some of the best players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and they tour every four years on rotation to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In 2021 the Lions were due to head to South Africa for matches from the 26th July – 7th August 2021 but alternatives are still being looked into due to the global pandemic.
Japan was due to play the British & Irish Lions in 2021 at BT Murrayfield in Scotland in an international rugby test match on Saturday 26 June 2021 before the Series.
2021 SEA Games
The 2021 Southeast Asian Games (the 31st SEA Games) is scheduled to take place in Hanoi, Vietnam from 21 November to 2 December 2021, although rugby sevens will be included in this edition of the Games.
Asian Touch Cup 2021 (TBC)
The inaugural Asian Touch Cup was planned for 2020 to be hosted in Shanghai, China. However, the tournament was scrapped in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The Federation of International Touch said an announcement would be made to confirm the event in 2021, with the FIT website indicating a provisional 2022 date.
We will update this article on Asia Rugby 2021 Competitions as information is made available.
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- HKRU New Years Day Youth Rugby Tournament 2021.