24th Jun 2020

The first objective of the HKRU’s new Strategic Plan, which was launched in November last year, was to commission a market research report into the state of the game, and the resulting KPMG survey was submitted to the Board in February 2020 – with 6 surveys developed based on the outputs of 10 workshops with 98 stakeholders of the Union, and a total of 12,514 survey responses received, this was the most in-depth study of rugby in Hong Kong to-date.


The findings have now been presented to the community stakeholder groups such as the club chairs, Youth groups, and Union staff, and these survey results will inform the work of the two Steering Groups that will work on delivering the remaining Strategic Objectives over the next 4 years –  both the “Building the Brand” and “Alignment & Transition” Groups are already up and running.

One of the main drivers behind engaging KPMG to carry out this survey was to provide a foundation of data on which to base decisions going forward rather than on subjective personal opinions, and develop an evaluative culture where best practice is recognised and rewarded.  Some of the key pieces of data included;

  • 11,026 registered rugby players across all age groups
  • Overall numbers decreased of 7.8% from previous year
  • 54% of players are Chinese, and 28% are female
  • U6, U19 and 21-30 are key age groups for recruitment
  • 53% of Seniors started between ages of 21-30 years
  • U8, U19 and 31-40 are key age groups for drop-outs
  • 45% of U8s drop-out
  • 61% of U12s drop-out
  • 60% of U19s drop-out
  • 44% of 31-40s drop-out

Common themes that attract players at all ages to play rugby;

  • Fitness
  • Friends
  • Fresh – a new and different sport
  • Fun
  • Values
  • Value for money
  • Achievement


Common themes that lead to drop-out;

  • Time commitments (school, family, friends)
  • Choose a different sport
  • Friends stop playing
  • Not fun anymore
  • Quality of coaching
  • Broken pathway at club


The KPMG staff who worked on this project went above and beyond the call of duty in their passion, enthusiasm and interest, and in addition to the survey results came up with a thought-provoking list of observations and considerations for the Union to consider.  Top of the pile was a need for a digital transformation project, with a centralised player registration at its heart.


The Union would like to express our appreciation to KPMG for a first class piece of work, and to all our stakeholder groups for their input and support throughout this process – the hard work begins now for us as a community, but together we have a great opportunity to take Hong Kong rugby to new levels of success over the coming years…the journey starts here!