/ 12 May 2011

Singapore still hopeful of hosting World Cup matches

Singapore still wants to host Rugby World Cup (RWC) matches for the 2019 event contrary to widespread reports the city state had withdrawn interest, Singapore rugby chief Low Teo Ping insists.

A decision on venues for the 2019 cup — to be hosted by Japan — is yet to be made.

“As far as Singapore is concerned, our interest to host the preliminary [pool] matches still stands,” Low said.

“Two years ago, when Japan put in their bid to host the 2019 World Cup, the bid included Hong Kong and Singapore as venue hosts for some of the preliminary matches.

“That was the bid that went to the IRB, and the basis that the RWC 2019 was awarded to Japan. Nothing has changed,” the Singapore Rugby Union president added.

Discussions on the 2019 host cities are expected to take place during the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand in September and October.

Low said it would be important for Singapore to secure some matches in the 2019 tournament.

“The Sports Hub will be up and running by then, and given the fact that we’ve previously hosted the IRB Sevens, it will be good to bring back world-class rugby events to Singapore, especially of this stature,” he told the Today newspaper.

“We have plans to host other events in the lead-up to RWC 2019 and in fact, we’re working on hosting the Asian Sevens in Singapore late this year or early next year.” — Reuters