PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared Australian Rules the most exciting football code in the country.
A former amateur rugby union player, and a fan of NRL club the Sydney Roosters, Mr Turnbull put his loyalties aside when announcing a proposal for Port Adelaide to play an AFL match in China next year.
The Prime Minister went so far as to say the superiority of Australian Rules was common knowledge.
"I think as we all know, and I say this as a former mediocre rugby player, AFL is the most exciting football code … it's where the big men fly," Mr Turnbull said in Shanghai on Thursday.
Announcing Port's push to play a game in China, Mr Turnbull said: "It's a very exciting day for a very exciting game in the most exciting place in the world".
The Prime Minister's declaration was made as he witnessed a memorandum of understanding between Port, the AFL and new Power sponsor Shanghai Cred Real Estate.
Mr Turnbull was joined in Shanghai by AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and Port Adelaide CEO Keith Thomas.
The Prime Minister has had a tricky relationship with Australia's football codes, previously mixing up the Sydney Swans and NRL Roosters in a radio interview on ABC.
China fact file
Population: 1,367,485,388 (as of July 2015)
Most popular sports: football (Chinese Super League), basketball (Chinese Basketball Association), badminton
Major sporting teams: Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, Beijing Guoan, Shanghai Shenhua, Shandong Luneng, Guandong Southern Tigers, Beijing Ducks, Shanghai Sharks, Bayi Rockets
Major stadiums: Shanghai Stadium, Workers Stadium (Beijing), Jinan Olympic Sports Luneng Stadium, Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre, Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre Stadium
Weather: If the game is to be played in June during the bye rounds, as reported, the average temperature in Shanghai is around 26 degrees. The rainy season also begins in June with an average of 212mm of rainfall for the month.
Smog: In December last year, the people of Shanghai were warned to stay indoors after the city's air was classified as "severely polluted", the worst level of a six-grade scale. Air quality improves significantly in Shanghai over the summer months, but is at its best in August. - Nat Edwards
In 1908 Wally Koochew became the first Chinese @afl player. His father was from Huangpu south of Guangzhou and he made four senior appearances for @carlton_fc It's been a long time between kicks. In #Shanghai today, the #AFL signed a deal for @pafc to play the first ever premiership game in #China next year