The Asian Rugby Football Union has become the latest regional association to change its name and, as part of an exciting rebrand, it will now be known as Asia Rugby.

Hot on the heels of Rugby Europe (formerly FIRA-AER), Oceania Rugby (formerly FORU), Rugby Africa (formerly CAR) and of course World Rugby (formerly IRB), the unanimous decision was taken at the mid-year ARFU Council meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, this week as the new logo was also unveiled.

The change comes into place with immediate effect and is part of a global trend towards the more streamlined, dynamic approach towards rugby administration as it moves from regulation to inspiration.

Similar to the reasons expressed by World Rugby when it changed its name and logo last year, it is felt that such rebrands help to grow the game by making them instantly recognisable to governments, National Olympic Committees, new players as well as potential supporters and commercial partners.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Global rugby participation has boomed by nearly three million to 7.2 million players over the past five years, driven by the commercial success of Rugby World Cup, World Rugby's development strategies and record investment, strong and vibrant unions and regional associations as well as rugby's re-inclusion in the Olympic Games.

"The growth can be attributed to the global attention garnered by those marquee events and also to a number of highly successful grass-roots, mass-participation programmes, such as Get Into Rugby.

"The rebrand of the global governing body and some of the regional associations embodies our mission statement to grow the rugby family beyond its traditional heartlands and it reflects the organisations' evolution from rugby regulators to rugby inspirers."

Published in Development