The delegates from 43 countries, including the top ranking Six Nations, voted overwhelmingly for Malta to host the 2010 AER-FIRA Congress. This will bring well over 150 delegates and companions, many of whom will intend to stay extra days to combine the conference with a holiday, perhaps much needed in todays economic climate.
The huge majority decision to hold the Congress in Malta, reflects good standing and popularity of the Malta Rugby Football Union amongst the European countries. This popularity is the reward of the superb and enthusiastic international efforts of the past Presidents, Secretaries and PRO’s of the Union and the MRFU’s positive contribution to European Rugby by supplying a Match Commissioner, and an international referee, plus the admirable playing record of one of Malta’s most successful ever international sports teams. The good performance of the womens team have also contributed to Malta’s positive reputation, as their recent brilliance in the European Sevens Championship displayed.
Malta’s fine reputation for hospitality has been enhanced by the regular attendance at internationals of some 3000/4000 vociferous supporters, including the South End Core, who create a great sporting atmosphere. The Hibs ground is now known around the rugby world as an excellent venue after several showings on Total Rugby, the International Rugby Board TV Channel broadcast in over 100 countries.
It is remarkable that all this has been achieved by one of the three smallest Rugby Football Unions in Europe, with only a few hundred players to choose from, compared with the many thousands enjoyed by larger countries. Rugby is however growing fast in popularity and the number of players is rapidly increasing.
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