Twelve months after he promised the new style of the rugby union with the fleeing Western Force, Andrew Forrest unveiled a new 70-minute eight-squad competition in the Asia-Pacific region with a prize of $ 1 million.
The vision of the mining billionaire, Global Rapid Rugby (GRR), has the blessing of the World Rugby Council and will start at the end of February next year.
A two-year WRC meeting in Dublin gave day-to-day sanction for participation in the tournament, approved by the participating trade unions, saying that "The competition aims to further develop rugby in the Asia-Pacific region, ensuring high-performance competition for emerging countries" .
Bands from Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Samoa, Fiji and Western Force Perth are already on board, with plans for Japan to choose two sides – one of the pre-existing union and a new team formed by a private consortium.
Forrest said that the new and amended rules will increase the time of ball games to 55%, and the shortened playing time means that every match will match the 90-minute broadcast.
The tournament, led by the Hong Kong Rugby Union, will have 14 rounds with 56 matches and four finals, and up to 20 best players in the world will compete for prizes.
"For the next two seasons, we committed to recruiting around 20 of the top 100 players in the world," Forrest said
"They will be placed in different teams, depending on the team's needs, in order to create a level field in all teams. We have already begun signing former Drozd Black Jeremy & # 39; ego with Western Force.
In order to keep the ball in play, rule changes will increase the risk of kicking to touch and reduce the number of lines while controlling the player's fatigue by rolling changes.
GRR Head of Rugby Matt Hodgson said they want change to create aggressive, aggressive and high-scoring rugby.
"The rules that excite me the most are the rights to dig. Teams will no longer be able to break away from their 22, we will see more attack there, and more counterattacks, because the teams will decide to throw in the middle of the field" – he said.
Forrest said that Rapid Rugby "is the perfect name" in the competition he founded.
"This speaks to what we will deliver – a dynamic concept of sport and entertainment focused on the fastest growing region in the world," he said.
"It will be fast and global because I want to help promote the attractiveness of this sport in non-traditional markets as well as sports and entertainment enthusiasts around the world."
Forrest hopes to expand its competition for teams from China, India, UAE, Sri Lanka and Korea over the next two years.
The breakaway competition by the billionaire philanthropist followed the Australian Rugby Union canceled the Western Force Super Rugby license last August, limiting competition to 15 teams.
After the Western Force lost the appeal to be immobilized by Super Rugby, Australian billionaire miner from Western Australia announced plans to form a rugby league in a few days, in a movement reminiscent of fellow billionaires Rupert Murdoch (Super League) and Kerry Packer (World Series Cricket) decades earlier.
Forrest then staged seven friendly matches against the Force on Perth & # 39; s Nib Stadium this year under the World Series Rugby banner, vowing to create its competitive contest, unveiled today.
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