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Chinese rugby team visit ahead of Rugby World Cup

The University recently hosted rugby players from Xiamen University in China at some of our sports facilities, including the site of the upcoming new centre in Ravelin Park.

As part of Sport and Rec’s aims to support the University Global Strategy and create meaningful international opportunities for our students the department are working with UoP Global to identify sports related opportunities with both the British Council and international governing bodies of sport. These are both to take students abroad on sports exchanges and to bring foreign groups to Portsmouth. Longer term aims include securing sports related educational contracts with some of these groups for their students and / or staff to undertake short course / CPD at the University.

Last year the University of Portsmouth’s men’s rugby team travelled to Xi’an to take part in the 4th UK China University Sports week. The team found the experience and opportunity exceptional and built very strong relationships with the Federation of University Sport China (FUSC) and key universities that they engaged with.

After the success of the trip, and with the opportunity to support wider UK-China rugby connections, the FUSC was keen to bring a team of 30 Chinese rugby players to Portsmouth in return.

The players trained at the Langstone sports fields and took part in in friendly matches and a charity match with both Navy and University rugby teams. The trip also included visits to the University, tours of the city – including Spinnaker Tower, Historic Dockyard and Southsea beach – and a dinner attended by Pro Vice-Chancellor Bob Nichol, Director of UoP Global Bobby Mehta and Counsellor for Education from the Chinese Embassy Mr XIA Jinanhui, as part of a charity rugby match at Havant Rugby Club.

As a University we have a strong history of rugby with nearly 200 members in our University rugby club. We have 6 competitive men’s and 2 women’s teams competing in the national British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) championships. We also have several teams competing in other regional and local level competitions.

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