1970 - 1972
The 1970s ushered in a golden era for Singapore Rugby. A Singapore side was formed in 1971 to play an international friendly against the famed England Team at Jalan Besar Stadium. Leow Kim Liat was to captain the side, with How Wai Chew and John Koh the only locals in the side. Leow unfortunately was injuried in the lead-up to the game and did not play.
1972 saw the birth of the first truly national team comprising of only citizens. The team competed in its first international tournament, the Asian Rugby Football Union Championships. The team was led by Leow Kim Liat who became the first Asian to lead Singapore’s National team as Captain in an international competition. The team finished a credible fourth in Asia.
The resulting years saw the first national rugby team to compete in a multisport Games at the 1975 SEAP (South East Asian Peninsular Games). In 1977, Singapore competed in the SEAP games again and came out Silver medalists.
That benchmark era spilled into the 1980s with another Malaya Cup win in 1982. Sadly, the pull out of the Singapore team from the annual Malaya Cup competition saw a decline in performances on the international level.
Following a heavy defeat at the hands of Hong Kong the SRU employ the first full time secretary. Before this appointment the SRU was ran by volunteers or part time workers.
Peter Randell is appointed as the first CEO (Chief Executive Officer) who employed first 4 Developmental officers who were also local players. SRU ranked last in the Asia Rugby Standings with only 10 schools playing locally.
Peter Randell set targets to increase number of rugby playing schools beyond the traditional plying schools in Singapore and to become the number one rugby team in South-East Asia.
Singapore Rugby Union begin programmes in schools introducing a modified Rugby game called ‘Singa-rugby’ to Primary schools.
Programmes are sponsored by Prudential Assurance. Weekend clinics begin at primary schools on Sundays with local clubs from including Bedok Kings, Northern Knights, Lion Red, Blacks and Wanderers. National team disbanded – Open Trials for the 1995 SEA GAMES.
Two Australian Development officers appointed and Andrew Blades (Australian prop 1996-1999) appointed the head coach for the SEA GAMES.
Fund raising dinners held – one dinner was held in conjunction with SCC (Singapore Cricket Club) raising money for development programmes in Singapore.
Major Sponsors of 1995 were: 7-Eleven stores, Coca-Cola & Prudential.
Sean Fitzpatrick is the first in the line of internationally renowned rugby layers to grace the Rugby Dinners. Amongst the guest speakers who have graced these dinners since 1995 are John Eales, Jonah Lomu, Eric Rush, Nick Farr Jones, Robert Jones, Jeremy Guscott, Will Carling, David Campese and Gareth Edwards.
Canterbury becomes the Official Apparel Sponsor of the SRU.
Singapore Under 23 won the first ever match for any National Rugby Team when they defeated the Malaysian Under 23 in a close encounter in KL.
A major drive for the introduction to touch rugby in secondary schools and junior college. Lee Wee Keong and Rong Jing Xiang were awarded the Age Group Meritorious Award from the Singapore National Olympic Council.
Over 100 teams take part in the first ever SPH Touch Rugby Carnival at the old SPE in Bukit Timah
Anchor Beer comes on board to sponsor the National Team. The National Men’s Team is popularly known as the Anchor Reds.
Rugby was played in the Singapore National Stadium for the first time where China played their first ever test against Singapore for the Standard Chartered Cup which resulted in a 33-3 win to Singapore.
First ever women’s 7s team to compete in Hong Kong 7s. First ever test win over Malaysia and also first test win in over 10 years for Singapore.
Standard Chartered and M1 become major sponsors of the SRU.
National Under 18 Team was awarded the Young Team (Merit) Award for being first in the Standard Chartered Under 18 Triangular defeating Hong Kong and Thailand.
SRU strikes a partnership with the New Zealand Singapore Business Council to recognise and reward Potential Rugby Stars with the Rising Star Award.
Adidas comes on board to sponsor the footwear for the SRU and the National Teams.
Singapore hosts Standard Chartered Asian Rugby Championship where matches were played in the National stadium.
SRU hosted the first ever SPH touch rugby tournament and SRU Exhibition in the city at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.
Singapore propose first tri-nation between Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong where saw Singapore lost narrowly 12-10 to Hong Kong which showed the development since the loss back in 1994.
The tournament saw Singapore’s first win over the Chinese Taipei in 10 years. New sponsors for the SRU were Citizen Watch Company and Fuji Xerox.
Singapore Rugby Union bids to hosts the IRB World evens Series but was unsuccessful.
Adidas comes on board as the SRU apparel sponsor. The Singapore National Team becomes one of three teams in the world, besides Samoa and New Zealand, to have a National Team Jersey designed by Adidas.
Singapore bids to host a leg of the IRB Sevens Series. Awarded hosting rights for the 2001/2002 IRB Sevens Series twinning with Kuala Lumpur.
The last M1 National Rugby Championship is held in 2001 as M1 moves their sponsorship to the Schools Series in 2002.
Inaugural IRB Singapore Sevens hosted at the National Stadium. National Men’s Team loses Division Two Title at the Asian Rugby Championship in Bangkok, Thailand. With the Support of Standard Chartered Bank, SRU signs a partnership with the University of Wales, Cardiff to place 2 UWIC Students on a 1 year internship as Development Officers with the SRU as part of their Degree Programme.
Singapore hosts the SPH Fun Touch Rugby in the heartlands at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh.
The Singapore Men’s Seven Team scores a historic win over Japan at the Hong Kong Sevens.
National Women’s Sevens finish 2nd in the Asian Women’s Sevens in Kazakhstan.
The IRB Sevens Singapore is cancel due to the SARs Virus.
The National Women’s Team received the SNOC Award for their performance in Kazakhstan
The IRB Sevens returns to Singapore and Standard Chartered becomes the naming sponsor of the IRB Sevens. Singapore hosts of the annual Asian Women’s Rugby Championship with the final being played at the National Stadium during the IRB Sevens. The Women’s team lost to Japan in the semi-finals.
The Men’s 15 Team regains the ARFU Division 2 Title with wins over Arabian Gulf and Thailand in Hong Kong.
SRU hosts the first ever Beach Rugby Carnival in Sentosa with 50 teams taking part.
SRU host the inaugural IRB Sevens Series.
Singapore knocked out of the RWC Qualifiers after losing the match against Sri Lanka despite winning the first game against Malaysia.
2nd Beach Touch Carnival held in Sentosa with almost 100 teams taking part.
The first ever National Women’s 15s Team compete in the Asian Women’s Rugby Championship.
SRU introduces free Touch and Contact Rugby Programmes, with the support of SSC.
SRU hosts the last IRB Singapore Sevens in April 2007.
At the end of 2006, there are approximately over 200 schools participating in different forms of Rugby in Singapore.
Four Under 16 players win a trip of a lifetime, sponsored by the Standard Chartered Heroes in the Making Programme, spending over a week immersing themselves in the rugby culture in Wales.
Victoria Bitter comes on board to sponsor the National Rugby Championship.
The inaugural VB Women’s 15s National Rugby Championship is held in 2007.
Ian Bremner was appointed as CEO.
With Rugby in the SEA Games after a lapse of 12 years, the men’s and women’s national team both did well in the Korat Games and won bronze and silver medals respectively
Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) on behalf of CCAB ran the inaugural International And Singapore Athletic Championship (ISSAC) – Rugby 2008 competition between Singapore and International schools. The various age group tournaments involved both Singapore and international schools and the main objective of the tournament is to strengthen the international relations through the game of rugby.
Victoria Bitter Women’s NRC 7s tournament was held in Feb with 5 teams participating.
Standard Chartered Bank and Singapore Rugby Union launched Asia’s first National Rugby Academy.
Gene Tong was appointed as National Rugby Academy Manager to develop rugby elite with Asia’s first full programme academy from age 13 – 21.
Singapore Rugby Lions have been crowned Champions of the ARFU Rugby First Division and will now take their place amongst the elite of Asian rugby. Following a draw against Sri Lanka and a one point victory against Chinese Taipei, the Singapore squad were presented the HSBC trophy. This represents a landmark day in Singapore Rugby history with a first visit to the top tier and fixtures in the April and May 2009 period against Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong. With the recent success of the Singapore National team in gaining promotion to HSBC A5N the team have also risen in the IRB World rankings. As of 1st December 2008 are now ranked 48th having previously been 55th. This jump of 7 places puts Singapore ahead of all other ASEAN countries.
Singapore hosts the Asia Rugby Championships Division 1 which saw Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei compete with the hosts. The tournament saw record crowds at the Yio Chu Kang Stadium, with the hosts Singapore losing in the Finals to Sri Lanka to remain in Division 1.
The Singapore Rugby Union organizes the first domestic 7s series that is played for the first time at Bishan Stadium. This is the first time the venue is used for Rugby. The Maximuscle Rebels emerge inaugural winners of the series after 3 rounds.
Singapore’s Women’s 7s team participates in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. The women finish 6th after some tenacious performances.
Singapore’s Men’s 15s team reaches the final of the Asia Rugby Championships Division 1, losing to hosts South Korea 58-17.
Singapore’s U20 Men beat Kazakhstan 17-10 to win promotion to Division 2 of the Asia Rugby Championships Division 1.
The Bedok Kings Skyllas was formed in February 2011 by a group of ladies united in their passion and love for contact rugby. The club would later go on to become a force in the women’s rugby scene.
Singapore came away with the Plate in the Asia Pacific Women’s 7s 2011 after a hard-fought final against the Cook Islands in Borneo.
Singapore hosts a leg of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series which also doubled up as a qualifier for the then International Rugby Board’s Rugby Sevens World Cup. The tournament was held in Singapore from November 2nd to 4th – running concurrently with the Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) International Rugby 7s that was held on the historic Padang.
Singapore’s Men’s 15s team finishes fourth in the Asian Rugby Division 1 tournament and found themselves in Division 2 for the first time in history.
Singapore’s Women’s 15 team participates in the Asian Rugby Division 2 tournament and comes out victorious after beating Lao PDR and the Philippines.
The Singapore National Women’s 7s Team clinched 6th in the Asian Women’s 7s Championships held in Pune, India, after a 12-5 comeback win against Chinese Taipei.
Singapore hosted the Tri Nations series after a 14-year absence. The competition was contested by Taiwan, Hong Kong ‘A” and Singapore. Singapore beat Taiwan in the semi-finals and were minutes away from a historic win in the finals against the Hong Kong ‘A’ selection squad. However, the latter managed to score two successive tries in the final five minutes for a 35–25 win.
The National Men’s 15s team defeats Malaysia in a dramatic final across the causeway to regain promotion back to Asia Rugby Division 1 – an immediate and emphatic response to the disappointment in 2012
Singapore Rugby Union announces its intent to bid to host a leg IRB Sevens World Series from the 2016 season.
Standard Chartered pumps S$810k into Singapore Rugby Union in a new three-year deal
Singapore’s Women’s 15 team compete in the Asian Qualifiers for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.
Asia Rugby revamps the competition structure for the Asia Rugby Championships – Singapore plays United Arab Emirates in Dubai in a one-off promotion game. Singapore wins 30-13 and remains in Division 1 for the new structure the following year.
Singapore U19s are promoted to ARFU Division 1 after a 22–5 final win over Thailand
Rugby is the first sport to be played at the new National Stadium as the World Club 10s is hosted in Singapore for the first time. Eight professional teams from around the world participated in this tournament where World Cup winner Piri Weepu led his Auckland Blues side to the title. National prop Reiner Leong, who was invited to play for the Asia Pacific Dragons, becomes the first Singaporean to score at the venue as well.
Singapore hosts the annual World Rugby Meeting for the first time.
Singapore’s Men’s National Team finishes 4th in the Asia Rugby Division 1 after narrow losses to The Philippines and Kazakstan – and dropped back down to Division 2.
Singapore’s Men’s and Women’s 7s team finish as Bronze and Silver medallists respectively at the 28th South East Asian Games which was held in Singapore. Daniel Marc Chow captained the men and Samantha Teo captained the women as the teams played in front of a vocal local crowd at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina Rugby (SANZAAR), the body which governs Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship competitions, announces that Japan’s Sunwolves will be the 18th Super Rugby franchise. As part of a MOU signed with Singapore Rugby, the Sunwolves will play 3 home games at the new National stadium in Singapore during the season.
Singapore, for the very first time, would play hosts to a Super Rugby match, as the Sunwolves played 2 of their home games here at the National Stadium.
After a 10-year hiatus, Singapore played hosts to the Sevens World Series, after securing a 4-year deal. Underdogs Kenya were the winners of the Singapore Sevens that was held at the National Stadium.
A pre-cursor to the tournament, South East Asia 7s (SEA 7s), showcased the very best 7s teams from the region. Both the men’s and the women’s national 7s teams came in 2nd in this inaugural tournament.
In the Asia Rugby Sevens Series, the men’s team came in 8th, thus getting relegated for the 2017 series. The women’s team came in 5th.
By virtue of Kazakhstan’s absence, Singapore had another crack at the Asian Rugby Championships Division 1, held in Malaysia. However, after a 17-33 loss to Sri Lanka and a heart-breaking 24-28 defeat to Philippines, Singapore was once again relegated to Division 2.
The Sunwolves were still winless on Singapore soil – but the local crowds were treated to a plethora of world-class rugby players from South Africa for the Super Rugby tournament that was held in the 2nd year running.
The 2nd Singapore Sevens edition saw another underdogs clinching victory, as Canada upset the odds to lift the cup in front of the Singapore crowd.
The men’s national 7s team put the Asia Rugby Sevens series’ disappointment behind them by clinching the Asia Rugby Sevens trophy. The women’s 7s team came in 7th in the Asia Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. The 7s men however went one better in the region, as they were crowned champions of the SEA 7s tournament and also clinched their highest placed finish in SEA Games, with a Silver medal. Their female counterparts clinched 2nd for the 2nd year running in the SEA 7s tournament and also a second successive Silver medal in the SEA Games.
In the 15s’ scene, the national team romped to a Asia Rugby Championships Division 2 victory as they beat Thailand convincingly in the finals. They will have a chance to redeem themselves again in Division 1 next year.