Asia Rugby Championship

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Asia Rugby Championship
Current season or competition
2019 Asia Rugby Championship
Asia Rugby Championship logo.png
SportRugby union
Formerly known asAsian Five Nations
2008 (as Asian Five Nations)
2015 (ARC)
Governing bodyAsia Rugby
Holders Hong Kong (2019)
Most titles Japan (25 titles)

The Asia Rugby Championship, or ARC, is an annual rugby union competition held amongst national rugby sides within the Asia Rugby region.[1] The competition was originally known as the Asian Rugby Football Tournament when founded in 1969, and was called the Asian Five Nations from 2008 to 2014.

The winner of the competition's top division is recognised as the rugby champion of Asia. The top division, sometimes referred to as the Tri Nations, includes the top three Asian teams each season. Division 1 includes the next four teams and Division 2 includes the next four. Division three is further divided geographically, with each of the West, East and South Central divisions including three teams.

As of 2017, Japan is the most successful team, securing 25 out of a possible 30 titles since 1969.


The competition was formed as the Asian Rugby Football Tournament in 1969.[1] Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Thailand contested the inaugural Asian title. Japan were the champions on that occasion.

The tournament was held biennially for the most of its first four decades. It wasn't until 1982 that South Korea became the second team to win the title. The number of teams participating varied from year to year, with as many as 12 teams competing as other Asian teams joined the competition. From 1969 to 1996, there was a single division split into two groups. But in 1998, a second division was introduced as the game began to grow in Asia.

In 2003, a second Asian competition called the Asian Rugby Series was formed. The Asian Rugby Series ran alongside the Rugby Championship to help determine divisional allocations for the Asian Rugby Championship. With more teams competing, a third division was added to the Rugby Championship in 2004. The dual competitions ran until 2007.

Asian Five Nations Logo

Asian Five Nations (2008–14)[edit]

In 2008, the ARFU merged the Rugby Championship and Rugby Series into the Asian Five Nations. The competition became an annual championship and a promotion-relegation format was introduced. The winner of Division 2 replaced the loser of Division 1, and the winner of Division 1 replaced the loser of the Five Nations. For its inaugural years, no Division 3 took place, though several regional divisions were implemented across Asia. During the time of this competition, the main Five Nations division was dominated by Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong; the only three teams never to have been relegated to a lower division.

Asia Rugby Championship (2015 onward)[edit]

The competition was revamped again for the 2015 season as the Asia Rugby Championship. Under the new format, the top three teams formed a Tri nations division. A promotion-relegation challenge was instituted whereby the Division 1 winner had to defeat the Tri nations third place-getter to gain promotion for the next season.


The current format sees the competition separated into various divisions, with a promotion and relegation format operated into each division. However, this only applies to Division 1 through 3, as the loser of the Tri Nations Division will play a play-off match against the winner of Division 1 to determine the third Tri Nations team for the following year. Where as the winners of Division 2 will automatically replace the loser of Division 1, and the two bottom placed teams in Division 2 will both be relegated down to one of the three regions in Division 3; West, East or South Central. Each of the three regions are made up three teams, and as of 2015, only the winners of the South Central and East divisions can be promoted to Division 2. This is because, the teams competing in the West region, are not considered as full members by World Rugby.

In 2015 in the main Tri Nations division, each team played each other on a home and away basis, picking up 5 points for a win and 3 for a draw. 2 additional points are up for grabs through bonus points, but in order to earn them, teams need to score 4 or more tries in a match, or when losing, lose by 7 points or less. In 2016 the points awarded were changed to 4 points for a win and 1 point for a draw with bonus points the same. For all Divisions, 1 through to 3, nations will only play each other once, with one of the included teams hosting all matches at home. These teams will also aim to pick points up for a win or draw, and gain bonus points. For all divisions, the team with the most table points wins their respective divisions, and if possible, earns promotion to the next division.

Current divisions[edit]

As of 2019, the competition divisions are:

Tri Nations
 Hong Kong
 South Korea
Division 1
 Chinese Taipei
 Sri Lanka
Division 2
 United Arab Emirates


Division 3
East South

Previous winners[edit]

All-time summary[edit]

As of the 2019 Asia Rugby Championship.

RankTeamChampionRunner‑upThird placeTotal
1 Japan255030
2 South Korea516728
3 Hong Kong271625
4 Kazakhstan0202
5 Thailand0123
6 Sri Lanka0101
7 Chinese Taipei0033
8 Malaysia0022
9 Singapore0011
 United Arab Emirates0011
Totals (10 teams)32323296

Asia Rugby Championship[edit]

Year  Edn Host Teams Final placings
Asian Rugby Tournament Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
1969 1 Tokyo 5  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Thailand [2]
1970 2 Bangkok 7  Japan  Thailand  Hong Kong [3][4]  Singapore [3][4]
1972 3 Hong Kong 7  Japan  Hong Kong  Thailand  Singapore
1974 4 Colombo 8  Japan  Sri Lanka  South Korea  Malaysia
1976 5 Tokyo 8  Japan  South Korea  Chinese Taipei  Thailand [5]
1978 6 Kuala Lumpur 7  Japan  South Korea  Singapore  Thailand
1980 7 Taipei 8  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Chinese Taipei
1982 8 Singapore 8  South Korea  Japan  Hong Kong  Malaysia
1984 9 Fukuoka 8  Japan  South Korea  Chinese Taipei  Thailand
1986 10 Bangkok 8  South Korea  Japan  Thailand [6]  Chinese Taipei
1988 11 Hong Kong 8  South Korea  Japan  Hong Kong  Chinese Taipei
1990 12 Colombo 8  South Korea  Japan  Hong Kong  Thailand
1992 13 Hong Kong 8  Japan  Hong Kong  South Korea  Thailand
1994 14 Kuala Lumpur 8  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Chinese Taipei
1996 15 Taipei 7  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Chinese Taipei
Asian Rugby Champs Div I Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
1998 16 Singapore 4  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Chinese Taipei
2000 17 Aomori 4  Japan  South Korea  Chinese Taipei  Hong Kong
2002 18 Bangkok 4  South Korea  Japan  Hong Kong  Chinese Taipei
2004 19 Hong Kong 4  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Chinese Taipei
2006 20 Hong Kong 3  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong N/A
Asian Five Nations Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
2008 21 round-robin
5  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Kazakhstan
2009 22 5  Japan  Kazakhstan  South Korea  Hong Kong
2010 23 5  Japan  Kazakhstan  Hong Kong Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Arabian Gulf
2011 24 5  Japan  Hong Kong  United Arab Emirates  Kazakhstan
2012 25 5  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  United Arab Emirates
2013 26 5  Japan  South Korea  Hong Kong  Philippines
2014 27 5  Japan  Hong Kong  South Korea  Philippines*
 Asia Rugby Championship Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
2015 28 home
3  Japan  Hong Kong  South Korea N/A
2016 29 3  Japan  Hong Kong  South Korea
2017 30 3  Japan  Hong Kong  South Korea
2018 a 31 3  Hong Kong  South Korea  Malaysia
2019 a 32 3  Hong Kong  South Korea  Malaysia


^* Relegated to the division below

^ Able to be challenged by the winner of the division below to play in a promotion-relegation play-off.

^a Japan—as hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup–did not defend their Asia rugby Championship title in 2018 to allow the Tri Nations competition to form part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup – Asia qualification process. Instead of returning to the trinations for 2019, Japan played the Pacific Nations to prepare for the World Cup.

Division tournaments[edit]

Year Div Host Teams Final placings
ARC Divisions Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
1998 2 Singapore 6  Singapore  Sri Lanka  Thailand  Malaysia
2000 2 Ōwani 4  Singapore  China  Sri Lanka  Thailand
2002 2 Bangkok 7  Thailand Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Arabian Gulf  Singapore  Kazakhstan
2004 2 Hong Kong 4  Singapore  Thailand  Kazakhstan Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Arabian Gulf
3 4  China  Sri Lanka  India  Pakistan
2007 2 Colombo 6  Kazakhstan  Sri Lanka  China  Chinese Taipei
3 3  Iran  India  Pakistan N/A
Asian Five Nations Divisions Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
2008 1 Taiwan 4 § Singapore  Chinese Taipei  Sri Lanka  China
2 Thailand 4 § Thailand  Malaysia  India   Pakistan
P Guam 3 § Philippines § Guam  Brunei N/A
C Sri Lanka 3 § Iran  Uzbekistan  Kyrgyzstan
SE Indonesia 3 § Indonesia  Laos  Cambodia
2009 1 Dubai 4 § Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Arabian Gulf  Chinese Taipei  Sri Lanka  Thailand
2 Malaysia 4 § Malaysia  China  India  Pakistan
3 Philippines 4 § Philippines  Guam  Iran   Indonesia
C Uzbekistan 3 § Uzbekistan  Kyrgyzstan  Mongolia N/A
SE Laos 3 § Laos  Brunei  Cambodia
2010 1 Singapore 4 § Sri Lanka  Singapore  Malaysia  Chinese Taipei
2 India 4 §  Philippines  India  Thailand  China
3 Indonesia 4 § Iran  Pakistan  Guam   Indonesia
4 Kazakhstan 4 § Jordan  Uzbekistan Kazakhstan Almaty Select   Mongolia
2011 1 South Korea 4 § South Korea  Singapore  Philippines  Malaysia
2 Thailand 4 § Chinese Taipei  Thailand  Iran  India
3 Indonesia 4 § China  Guam  Indonesia   Pakistan
4 Dubai 4 § Qatar  Lebanon  Jordan   Uzbekistan
5 Cambodia
2 § Laos  Cambodia N/A N/A
2012 1 Philippines 4 § Philippines  Sri Lanka  Chinese Taipei  Singapore
2 Malaysia 4 § Thailand  Malaysia  Iran  China
3 Indonesia 4 § India  Guam  Indonesia  Pakistan
4 Dubai 4 § Qatar  Lebanon  Jordan   Uzbekistan
5 Cambodia 3 § Laos  Brunei  Cambodia N/A
2013 1 Sri Lanka 4 § Sri Lanka  Kazakhstan  Chinese Taipei  Thailand
2 Malaysia 4 § Singapore  Malaysia  Iran  India
3 4 § Qatar  Guam  Indonesia   China
4 Dubai 4 § Lebanon  Pakistan  Uzbekistan   Laos
5 Cambodia 2 § Cambodia  Brunei N/A N/A
2014 1 Dubai &
Hong Kong
4   Kazakhstan
 United Arab Emirates
 Chinese Taipei
2 Qatar 4   Malaysia  Qatar  Iran  Thailand
3E Laos 4   China  Guam  Indonesia  Laos
3W Pakistan 4   Lebanon  Uzbekistan  India  Pakistan
4 Brunei 3   Mongolia  Cambodia  Brunei N/A
 ARC Divisions Winner Runner-up Third Fourth
2015 1 Philippines 4   Sri Lanka  Philippines  Kazakhstan  Singapore
2 Malaysia 4 § Malaysia  United Arab Emirates  Chinese Taipei  Thailand
3E Indonesia 3 § Guam  China  Indonesia N/A
3SC Uzbekistan 2 § Uzbekistan  India N/A
3W Lebanon 3   Lebanon  Iran  Jordan
2016 1 Malaysia 4   Malaysia  Sri Lanka  Philippines  Singapore
2 Uzbekistan 4 § United Arab Emirates  Thailand  Guam  Uzbekistan
3E Thailand 2   Laos  Indonesia N/A N/A
3WC Qatar 3   Qatar  Lebanon  Iran
3W Jordan 3   Jordan United Arab Emirates UAE Shaheen  Saudi Arabia
2017 1 Malaysia 4 § Malaysia  Sri Lanka  Philippines   United Arab Emirates
2 Taiwan 4 § Singapore  Thailand  Chinese Taipei   India
3W Uzbekistan 3   Lebanon  Uzbekistan  Iran N/A
2018 1 Philippines 2   Philippines  Singapore N/A
2 Thailand 3 § Chinese Taipei  Thailand  India
3E Brunei 3   Guam  China  Brunei
3C Kazakhstan 4   Kazakhstan  Pakistan  Mongolia  Kyrgyzstan
3W Lebanon 4   Lebanon  Iran  Qatar  Jordan
2019 1 Taipei 4   Philippines  Singapore  Sri Lanka  Chinese Taipei
2 Thailand 4   United Arab Emirates  Tahiti  Kazakhstan  Guam
3ES Indonesia 3   China  India  Indonesia N/A
3C Pakistan 2   Pakistan  Uzbekistan N/A
3W Qatar 3    Qatar  Lebanon  Jordan


^ Relegated to the division below.

^§ Won promotion, or the right to a challenge play-off for promotion, to the division above.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "History". Asia Rugby. 2016. Archived from the original on 23 December 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Asian Championship 1969". Rugby Archive. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Asian Championship 1970". Rugby Archive. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Asian Championship 1970". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Asian Championship 1986". Rugby Archive. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Asian Championship 1986". Rugby Archive. Retrieved 1 April 2018.

External links[edit]