(CNN)China is making headlines with its stratospheric spending on global football stars -- but is it also undergoing a rugby revolution?

"The numbers in China are obviously mind-boggling," World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper tells CNN. "As a nation, it's the No. 1 target not just for sport but all businesses.

"We have a fixed objective of one million players in 10 years, but that's being readjusted by the federation to five years I believe. That's a pretty meteoric rise."

    A year ago, it had 76,000 rugby players. In 2016, another 60,000 Chinese were introduced to the oval-ball sport, and officials there hope for as many as a million players in five years.