Indonesia in action during the HSBC Asian 5 Nations
- Large population with huge growth potential
- Brunei accepted as an Associate Member
- Total number of IRB Member Unions grows to 119
The PRUI became an Associate Member of the IRB in May 2008 and is already a Full Member of the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU), regularly taking part in regional events and council meetings. In addition, the PRUI is recognised by its National Olympic Committee.
The IRB is committed to the development of Rugby in Asia and this is another step forward for the Game in that part of the world as Indonesia is regarded as a country with huge potential for further growth.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "We are delighted to be welcoming Indonesia as a Full Member of the IRB. These are very exciting times for our sport with unprecedented growth and interest around the world. Today's announcement certainly underlines Rugby's ability to reach out to new communities and countries in every region."
"As home to 60 per cent of the world's young people, Asia is a strategically important region for the IRB. Working in collaboration with ARFU we are currently investing more than US$3 million annually in development, high performance and tournament programmes across the region and we will ensure that Indonesia has the structures in place to flourish and grow on the world stage."
The PRUI has met the IRB criteria for Full Member status. It is a well-structured organisation with dedicated administrators. It has 310 active adult players and 360 youth players and runs a 10-team domestic competition while the national Fifteens team currently plays in Division III of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations.
The IRB Council has granted Associate Member status to the Brunei Rugby Union (BRU), which has been a member of ARFU since 2004. The BRU is recognised by its National Olympic Committee and actively partakes in ARFU events, including hosting the ARFU Council in 2008.
BRU is a structured organisation administered by volunteers and satisfies the IRB's Associate Membership criteria. It runs an annual domestic Fifteenscompetition and the national Fifteens team plays in the HSBC Asian 5 Nations and a Brunei team also attended an event of the Asian Sevens Series.
ARFU fully supported both these applications and they mean that there are now 101 Full Members of the IRB and 119 in total.
Meanwhile, the Federation Camerounaise de Rugby (FCR) and Federation Mauritanienne de Rugby (MRF) have been suspended from IRB membership due to inactivity and a failure to meet basic IRB and Confederation Africaine de Rugby (CAR) criteria for continued membership. The IRB will work hard with the FCR and MRF in conjunction with CAR to ensure both nations can re-establish themselves as active Unions and rejoin the IRB family.