Natixis Rugby Cup 2016 in Hong Kong: a unique North-South game
Racing 92 return to Hong Kong to take on Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders, for the third edition of the Natixis Rugby Cup on Saturday 6 February 2016.
Both teams will feature world-class lineups for this unique north-south clash of giants, with 15 veterans of the 2015 Rugby World Cup expected on the field, including Racing's new superstar, three-time World's Best Player, Dan Carter.
Since its inaugural edition in 2013, which saw Racing 92 take on Stade Toulousain in the first ever clash of Top 14 clubs in Asia, the Natixis Rugby Cup has set a precedent of pushing back the boundaries of Rugby in Hong Kong and Asia. The third edition is no different marking the first game in Asia to feature a Super Rugby club, and the first time the Highlanders have played a match against competition from outside their own hemisphere.
François Riahi, CEO, Corporate & Investment Banking, Asia Pacific at Natixis says that the innovative nature of the Natixis Rugby Cup series is central to its purpose, "Natixis' commitment to rugby is based on our belief in the fundamental values of rugby, namely team work, commitment and perseverance. By breaking new ground for rugby in Asia, we believe we are doing our bit to nurture its development in this part of the world, and so helping the spread of these values."
In a further expansion of its support for Rugby in Asia, Natixis became title sponsor of Hong Kong's oldest rugby club, Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) Rugby Section, in 2014.
"Rugby is a sport for everyone, and HKFC provides the grassroots opportunities for communities in Hong Kong to get out there and play rugby. The Natixis Rugby Cup, meanwhile, is designed as a world-class spectacle to inspire rugby fans and budding stars in Hong Kong and throughout Asia" said Mr. Riahi.
The Natixis Rugby Cup series is also an important element in Natixis' commitment to Racing 92 by raising the visibility of the French club in Asia and helping to grow its regional fan base.
Arnaud Tourtoulou, the club's Chief Executive Officer said, "Racing 92 is delighted to be returning to our home away from home in Hong Kong again in 2016, particularly to play in the Natixis Rugby Cup. We are excited to be meeting Super Rugby champions Highlanders and are confident that rugby and sporting fans worldwide will be riveted by this unique north-south match-up."
Kick-off is at 5:00 pm local time. The game will be broadcast live or as a replay in more than 70 countries, including live transmission in Europe on Eurosport, in France on Équipe21 (at 10:00 am), and in Asia on Setanta.
The Natixis Rugby Cup 2016 is renewing Natixis' long-standing commitment for the development of rugby in Europe and Asia. Natixis has been the official sponsor of Racing 92 since 2007 and has been supporting the educational project of its rugby schools since 2013. Natixis, sponsor of the two previous editions of the Natixis Rugby Cup, is also the title sponsor of the Hong Kong Football Club Rugby Section, one of the oldest and prestigious rugby and sports clubs in Asia.