Emirates backs Four Nations Rugby Cup - Emirates24|7

Emirates backs Four Nations Rugby Cup

Emirates sponsors the UAE National XV’s team. (SUPPLIED)

Continuing their commitment to rugby, both on a domestic and international level, Emirates Airline has announced their sponsorship of a new XV’s rugby tournament initiative - the Emirates Four Nations Cup.

This initiative, developed by UAE Rugby and supported by the Hong Kong RFC, ARFU (Asian Rugby Football Union) and the IRB (International Rugby Board), will provide an extra layer of activity identified by the IRB as being critical to the development of nations who wish to improve their international rugby standing.

As the first cross border and cross continent tournament of its kind, the Emirates Four Nations Cup will allow four ambitious National XV’s teams to play more international games providing greater preparation for their respective Regional Tournaments and IRB competitions.

The four teams competing in 2011’s inaugural Emirates Four Nations Cup are; Kenya (Africa), Brazil (South America), Hong Kong (Asia) and host nation, UAE (Asian Rugby Football Union).

“Emirates has been a firm supporter of rugby for many years and we are proud to be the driving force behind many of the sport’s successful worldwide events,” said Ahmed Khoory, Emirates Senior Vice-President, Gulf, Middle East and Iran. “Emirates is acutely aware of the need for quality rugby competitions and through this new tournament we look forward to stimulating added interest in the game, not only in the UAE but also across our global network.”

“We are very pleased to have Emirates involved in this ground breaking initiative, it is a strong statement of their dedication to rugby not only in the UAE but across borders,” said UAE Rugby Chairman Mohammed Falaknaz. “This will undoubtedly enhance our preparations for future challenges, but on top of that we want to make this an event in its own right and to develop it in conjunction with the IRB in years ahead.”

Mark Egan, IRB's Head of Development and Performance, added; “The IRB is happy to support this excellent initiative by the UAERA and HKRFU.”

“Cross Regional competition between nations of a similar IRB ranking will allow us to benchmark these unions against each other and see how they are progressing. We are particularly excited to see Brazil participating as this is a targeted union within the IRB strategic investment programme and we are already beginning to see improved international performances from both their sevens and fifteens programmes.”    

The week long Emirates Four Nations Cup will take place from December 9 to 16, immediately after the Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament.