Singapore Rugby Union
2005 Financial Scandal
In October 2005, it was reported that Sean Lee, a former financial executive of the Singapore Rugby Union, absconded with SGD$300,000. On the last day of his work when he resigned, the money was found missing from the Union's accounts.
In April 2007, the absconded amount was revealed to be three times more than what was originally reported in November 2005. A total of SGD$1.215 million was misappropriated over an 18-month period by writing Union checks with forged signatures to companies registered under his name.
As a result, the Singapore Rugby Union was put on a hiatus, staff retrenched, and the former President stepping down, and with a new CEO Ian Bremner taking over. To date, Sean Lee has yet to be found.
2009 Local Players Boycott
In March 2009, nearly half of the national team went on strike citing nationality bias by the management, as well as not addressing some issues and concerns with training. Ex-captain and incumbent backrower Rong Jing Xiang was also part of the players who went on strike.
After the Rugby Union met with the 9 players to resolve the issue, the Singapore Rugby Union agreed to address some their concerns and also to implement a "balance" in the ratio of local to expatriate players in the team. In final team selections, Rong Jing Xiang was subsequently dropped from the team.
It is also interesting to note that the national team is made up largely of expatriate players. The 2009 training squad consisted of 17 expatriate players, and 13 local players. The captain, Ben Wheeler, who took over captaincy from Rong Jing Xiang (Singapore's most capped player with 45 appearances), had only 2 caps prior to the Asian 5 Nations tournament. Critics are beginning to wonder if this move by CEO Ian Bremner is a right move for the development of rugby amongst the locals in Singapore, and if the Singapore National Rugby team is headed into the same direction as Hong Kong's National Rugby team, which is dominated by expatriate players.
The Singapore Rugby Union is currently located at 900 Tiong Bahru Road, Delta Swimming Complex, Singapore 158790. This is directly next to the Delta Swimming Complex, and is located near Redhill MRT station.
It recently moved from its old premises at the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.