The UAE have become the 100th full member union of the International Rugby Board after the council approved its application during a meeting in Dublin.

The UAERF became an associate member of the IRB earlier this year following the disbandment of the Arabian Gulf RFU and has been fast-tracked through to full membership

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “We are delighted to be welcoming UAE as a full member of the IRB.

"These are very exciting times for our sport with unprecedented growth and interest around the world. Today’s announcement certainly underlines rugby’s ability to reach out to new communities and countries in every region.”

“As home to 60 percent of the global population and 80 per cent of the world’s young people, Asia is a strategically important region for the IRB."

Lapasset continued: "Working in collaboration with the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) we are currently investing over US$3 million annually in development, high performance and tournament programmes across the region and we will ensure that UAE has the structures in place to flourish and grow on the world stage.”

At the same meeting, the IRB Council has granted the Hellenic Federation of Rugby (Greece) IRB full member status on a probationary basis.

Despite not meeting all membership criteria owing to the certain unique circumstances in Greece, special dispensation was given for a 12-month probationary period.

This was granted to allow the union every possible opportunity to bolster domestic competition and development programmes.