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Chinese army passes on rugby
Beijing
February 2, 2000

China seems to have dropped plans to teach 2.5 million soldiers how to play rugby, according to New Zealand army chief Major General Maurice Dodson.

A New Zealand army officer in China last year was approached by the Peoples Liberation Army for help in providing rugby coaches.

When asked how many coaches they wanted, the PLA replied 4000, the Dominion newspaper said Wednesday.

"He gasped and said we couldnt do that," Dodson said.

Dodson, who has just returned from China, said he tried to find out what had happened to the rugby plan.

"We asked at one point what they were doing about rugby and I got the impression that whoever was trying to make it a big thing had gone off the boil on it," he said.

"I wasnt actually pushing it because I didnt want to get a request for about 4000 rugby coaches."

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