George Gregan, former Australia captain, is rugby union’s world record holder for appearances at an international level
HSBC has signed up two of world rugby’s most famous sons as its Middle East rugby ambassadors for 2011. Rugby World Cup winners, Australia’s George Gregan and England’s Jason Robinson, have been appointed as official HSBC ambassadors for the Middle East.
As HSBC rugby ambassadors Gregan and Robinson will also both play a major part in the bank’s ‘Youth, Education and Community’ rugby activities in the Middle East. Robinson will be a special guest at a number of HSBC Youth Rugby Festivals across the Middle East, helping to coach and develop young players’ skills and techniques.
The forthcoming rugby season is an exciting one for HSBC in the Middle East as the world’s local bank continues to develop its support for the growth of the sport from the elite levels of the game through to the grassroots across a number of emerging rugby nations including UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain. With the continued expansion of its investment in rugby in the Middle East, HSBC is proud to welcome two such successful and iconic players to be part of its rugby team to help pass on the positive values of the game and actively get more young people involved in the sport.
Simon Cooper, CEO of HSBC Middle East & North Africa, said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of two of the world’s best ever rugby players as HSBC rugby ambassadors for the Middle East. HSBC is a long standing global supporter of the game and here in the Middle East we have long been involved in helping to grow and develop the sport for many years.”
George Gregan, former Australia captain, is rugby union’s world record holder for appearances at an international level having reached 139 caps for Australia as the Wallabies’ scrum-half between 1994 and 2007. Commenting on his new role Gregan said: “it is really exciting to join the HSBC rugby team in the Middle East. The work the bank is doing in helping to grow participation in rugby amongst young people is fantastic and I’m looking forward to help support their rugby initiatives in the region.”
Jason Robinson, former England fullback and winger, has worked with HSBC since he was an ambassador for the British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa in 2009, of which HSBC was the Principal Partner. “It is a great feeling to be able to give something back to the game,” said Robinson. “I was lucky enough to be involved with HSBC’s grassroots rugby initiatives around the British & Irish Lions Tour in 2009 and I hope that the HSBC Youth Rugby Festivals in the Middle East can touch the lives of as many youngsters and help them unlock their potential as the stars of tomorrow.”
The inclusion of the Sevens game as an Olympic sport at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro has generated significant new interest in rugby around the world. HSBC’s support for the Game spans four continents and includes sponsorship of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations, HSBC Sevens World Series, Principal Partner of the British and Irish Lions 2013 tour to Australia, and co-title sponsor of the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. Across the Middle East HSBC is committed to supporting the growth of the game, increasing participation at all ages, and encouraging more young people to get active.