"World Series Rugby" aka "Global Rapid Rugby"

  • The World Series Rugby, organised/financed by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest, will start this week.

    IIRC, it's only meant to be held this year as the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship (IPRC) - a competition organised around the Western Force - is supposed to start next year. I've not been able to find updated info about Rugby Australia approving the IPRC (important for Wallabies elegibility of Western Force players participating in the IPRC).

    Anyway, this is the match schedule for the World Series Rugby (local time in Perth = NZT + 4 hours):


    Not sure whether they expect anyone outside Perth to watch these games. This Friday's game is - in part - played at the same time as the Rebels v Crusaders game. Sky & Foxtel don't seem to broadcast the game (but tv guides may change, of course). Or maybe they will be livestreamed?

  • There are a few familiar names in the Western Force squad to play Fiji Warriors, but due to losing so many players to the remaining Aussie SR franchises, it's a significantly weakened squad compared to last year:

    Western Force team to face Fiji Warriors

    1 Harry Lloyd, 2 Heath Tessmann, 3 Chris Heiberg, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Johan Bardoul, 6 Tevin Ferris, 7 Chris Alcock, 8 Brynard Stander
    9 Ian Prior (C), 10 Andrew Deegan, 11 Brad Lacey, 12 Rodney Iona, 13 Marcel Brache, 14 Rod Davies, 15 Peter Grant

    16 Alifeleti Kaitu'u, 17 Tom Sheminant, 18 Kieran Longbottom, 19 Leon Power, 20 Harrison Orr, 21 Ryan Louwrens, 22 AJ Alatimu, 23 Clay Uyen

  • Oh, and just in case you forgot. They are playing this series under the following, changed rules:

    1 The Power Try– A Power Try is awarded when the play is initiated from within the try scoring team’s own 22m area and there is no break in continuity of possession by the scoring team.
    However if possession changes or a penalty is awarded, then this breaks the sequence of possession for the try scoring team and normal 5 point try is earned if they score.
    Coloured lights on the goal posts will alert fans to when a Power Try is “live”, “dead” or “scored”.
    The Power Try play is live: green lights will run down the post
    The Power Try play is dead: the green lights turn solid red
    A Power Try is scored: the green lights will flash.
    A Power Try offers a team the opportunity to score 9 points on conversion.
    2 Rolling Subs – teams may make up to 12 player substitutions during the game, as opposed to the current 8 substitutions.
    3 One-minute scrums – One minute from time of mark to completion. This puts the onus on players to keep the scrum up and encourages quick decision making to allow play to continue.
    4 Faster Line Outs – lineouts will be taken as soon as the throwing team is ready – they do not have to wait for their opponent or the referee.

  • @Stargazer WOW! I had forgotten.

    I want to watch just because of this.

  • Rubbish rules apart from the scrum idea, scrum rests are a bore - didn't say what happens at the end of that minute, tho?

  • Like the line out rule.

    Rest are shit.

  • Power Try's - WTFFF?

  • I hope this dies a painful, expensive death. Power tries. What a stupid concept.

  • The Western Force v Fiji Warriors game will be broadcast live in Oz on Fox Sports channel 507.
    I don't think it will be televised in NZ.

  • @stargazer if they really wanted to 'sell it' shoulda given it to tvnz for FTA.

  • @taniwharugby Yep, and schedule it at another time. Now, it's at the same time as the second half of Rebels v Crusaders.

  • So, intercepting a ball inside your own 22 and then running the length of the field and scoring is worth 9 points there? Hah

  • Former All Black Jeremy Thrush Joins the Force

    All Black Jeremey Thrush will be part of World Series Rugby in 2018.
    With over 200 first class matches and 12 Test Caps worth of experience, the Kiwi international will add even more class, agility and power to the to the Western Force squad.
    Head of Elite Performance, Matt Hodgson, worked for weeks to secure Thrush’s signature.

  • @stargazer said in "World Series Rugby" aka Indo Pacific Rugby Championship prequel:

    The Western Force v Fiji Warriors game will be broadcast live in Oz on Fox Sports channel 507.
    I don't think it will be televised in NZ.

    Was also live into Perth on 7TWO and is on the 7Plus app. So clearly there is a bit of cash being flung around.

    Watched about 20 minutes of it. Force second string beating up Fiji third string.

    Sure they had 20,000 in the stadium but it was all Sand Gropers fuelled by hate, looking to stick it up RA.

    Let me just say that uranium rods have a shorter half-life than the hate of a West Australian who believes those "over East" did them wrong.

  • World Series Rugby?

    Are these clowns serious calling it that, or are they just trying to be American?

  • @gunner said in "World Series Rugby" aka Indo Pacific Rugby Championship prequel:

    just trying to be American?

    Ever heard of Kerry Packer?


    alt text

  • @gunner said in "World Series Rugby" aka Indo Pacific Rugby Championship prequel:

    World Series Rugby?

    Are these clowns serious calling it that, or are they just trying to be American?

    Isn't that implied by them being Australian?

  • @bones said in "World Series Rugby" aka Indo Pacific Rugby Championship prequel:

    @gunner said in "World Series Rugby" aka Indo Pacific Rugby Championship prequel:

    World Series Rugby?

    Are these clowns serious calling it that, or are they just trying to be American?

    Isn't that implied by them being Australian?

    Yeah nah. I mean there's no Mexican food there, ¡Nada!

  • So "World Series Rugby" isn't going to be named "Indo Pacific Rugby Championship" after all, as they announced last year. The new name is now "Global Rapid Rugby". Same awful competition though, with the same ridiculous rules.

    Rapid Rugby rebrand for Forrest's World Series

    Andrew Forrest's World Series Rugby will become Global Rapid Rugby in 2019.
    Forrest launched the new name on Tuesday, hinting at the teams that will be involved.
    According to the website, a team from Hawaii has committed to the expanded competition for next year along with a Hong Kong team.
    Sides from Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji are also considering participating in the slated eight-team tournament and Rapid Rugby organisers are ambitious about how it can grow beyond 2020.
    While there are still many details to iron out, the competition is pencilled in for a February start, running until mid-June with a $1 million prize up for grabs.
    The rule variations used in World Series Rugby this year will continue into 2019 as well.
    “Our team continues to work alongside the sport’s governing body, World Rugby, to develop new rules that will make our brand even more appealing. Their input is obviously invaluable.”

  • @stargazer said in "World Series Rugby" aka "Rapid Rugby":

    So "World Series Rugby" isn't going to be named "Indo Pacific Rugby Championship" after all, as they announced last year. The new name is now "Global Rapid Rugby". Same awful competition though, with the same ridiculous rules.

    Rapid Rugby rebrand for Forrest's World Series

    Andrew Forrest's World Series Rugby will become **Global Rapid Rugby** in 2019.


  • New Zealand Rugby has pledged its support for Western Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest's new Asia Pacific competition – a move which may see Auckland stage two 'home' matches for a Samoan side – but not everyone is on board with the decision to back the rebel league.
    Concerns are understood to be held within the wider Auckland region about the threat Forrest's competition, dubbed Global Rapid Rugby (GRR), poses in the already challenging market of securing and retaining New Zealand players, sponsors and supporters.
    "We have received an approach from GRR asking whether there would be interest in New Zealand Super Rugby clubs or Mitre 10 Cup provincial unions forming partnerships with the new teams that are joining GRR," Good writes. "We asked GRR to put this proposal in writing (see attached) and agreed to put this in front of the 19 organisations hence this email."
     The Herald understands NZR may stage two home matches for the Samoan side in Auckland.
    The Samoan bid involves Richard Fale, the Tongan-born politician who failed to buy the Warriors.
     Fale is also the face of the Hawaii-based consortium that attempted to join Super Rugby. It is likely the Samoan team will, therefore, play some home matches in Honolulu.
    NZR's position is believed to be there is no point fighting this new competition which is scheduled to feature 14 rounds, 56 games of 70 minutes and rouge rules such as not kicking out on the full.
    There is also thought that GRR could be a possible fallback option, should South Africa pull out of Sanzaar and head north at any point in the future.
     The proposal to form partnerships with New Zealand teams states how recruitment would work:
    "A player contracted from Mitre Cup can be placed into a Global Rapid Rugby team for a short term or the full duration – from March to June. This would allow players associated with Mitre Cup teams to get professional rugby for a longer duration.
    "A player from Super Rugby can also benefit from Global Rapid Rugby. If a player is injured/returning from suspension and/or misses selection and requires game time Global Rapid Rugby would welcome players from the aligned Super Rugby team."
    Having missed out yet again in their bid for a Super Rugby team due to financial constraints, GRR represents a major fillip for the Pacific Islands with up to 50 on-island based players set to gain short term professional contracts, building on the success of the Fiji Drua who won this year's Australian domestic competition.
    But when it comes to the wider Auckland region and the Blues, the scrap to retain emerging talent is already fierce. From overseas clubs to league scouts and other New Zealand Super Rugby teams, Auckland's natural talent pool has long been plundered.
    Another layer and another competitor are, therefore, not being welcomed by all.
    While reluctant to speak publicly, these concerns are understood to be shared by other New Zealand provincial and Super Rugby bases battling similar on-going challenges in the player, sponsor and crowd sectors.
    Once players leave it is harder to lure them back. GRR directly recruiting from New Zealand also has the potential to further deplete depth.

  • Not so rapid after all:

    Forrest takes a hit following postponement of new rugby competition

    Global Rapid Rugby has been postponed until 2020 in a major blow to billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest and his vision for an Asia-Pacific rugby competition.
    The Herald understands Forrest made the difficult call to push back the competition for one year on the eve of its mooted March kick-off after failing to clinch deals with two of the six teams - the Malaysian and Samoan sides - slated for its first season.
    The Western Force, Hong Kong and Singapore teams were understood to be ready for the season, with squads in training for much of the past month, while Fiji was on track to make the deadline.
    Forrest is expected to make the announcement later today.

  • Instead of the Global Rapid Rugby competition, there will be a series of games showcasing the Rapid Rugby rules in 2019.

    2019 Showcase Series Unveiled

    A Showcase Series will launch revolutionary sporting brand Global Rapid Rugby in the Asia Pacific region in 2019, featuring a combination of innovative new rules and spectacular off-field entertainment.
    Since gaining World Rugby approval to stage an elite-level competition in mid-November last year, the Rapid Rugby management team has worked to ensure the inaugural home-and-away season provides the very best on and off-field sport and entertainment.
    That tight time frame and the intricacies of a World Cup year have led to a decision to commence the inaugural 8-team, 56 game home-and-away season in 2020.
    In 2019, the Showcase Series will travel throughout Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australasia to give fans, viewers, players and coaches a live taste of what is to come in Season One in 2020, when teams will compete for an AUD$1 million first prize.
    The 2019 Rapid Rugby Showcase Series schedule will be finalised next month.

  • Experience the show! 2019 Showcase schedule released

    Global Rapid Rugby will launch a unique combination of elite sport and super-charged entertainment with a 14 match Showcase Series in six venues throughout Asia, the Pacific and Australasia this year.
    The series kicks off in three weeks, on Friday March 22, when Perth’s Western Force goes head-to-head with the star-studded World XV combination, led by former Australian Test and New Zealand Crusaders coach Robbie Deans.
    Teams from Hong Kong, Fiji, Singapore and Samoa will play and host games, with venues in New Zealand and east-coast Australia part of the Showcase Series as well. On top of that, Rapid Rugby will be played on the eve of a historic Bledisloe Cup clash between the Wallabies and All Blacks in Perth.
    Deans experienced a version of the Rapid Rugby rules when his Japanese club team, the Panasonic Wild Knights, played in Perth last year and believes the brand will be a big hit with players and fans alike.
    “The ‘All Stars’ concept of the World XV lends itself to the excitement and entertainment at the forefront of Rapid Rugby and is the perfect vehicle to promote the brand within a Showcase Series,” Deans said.
    “Our squad is comprised of a core of experienced Test players, 10 in all, who will lead a group that also includes a number of promising youngsters with big futures ahead of them.”
    After the World XV game, teams from Fiji, Samoa, Hong Kong, Singapore and Western Force will play in separate six game tri-series contests.
    The Asia Showcase Series, between the South China Tigers out of Hong Kong, Asia Pacific Dragons in Singapore and the Western Force, begins on March 29. The Pacific Showcase Series will be played between the Force, Fijian Latui and Kagifa Samoa from May 18.
    Teams will play at least two matches in their home market; however, construction work on Samoa’s main stadium means its ‘home’ games will be played in Queensland and Auckland.
    Winners of the Asia and the Pacific series will access an AUD50,000 prize purse to assist local community rugby programs.

    You can find the schedule here.

  • Next week is the first game of the Rapid Rugby showcase series between the Western Force and a World XV squad.

    The following players have been called up for the World XV squad:

    Gio Aplon (South Africa), Yoshikazu Fujita (Japan), Nick Cummins (Australia), Digby Ioane (Australia), Dylan Riley (Australia), Inga Finau (New Zealand), Kosei Ono (Japan), Leon Fukofuka (Tonga), Andy Ellis (New Zealand, captain), Leonardo Senatore (Argentina), Hugh Renton (New Zealand), Michael Curry (New Zealand), Shota Fukui (Japan), Michael Oakman-Hunt (Australia), Jack Cornelsen (Australia), Hamish Dalzell (New Zealand), Tom Moloney (Australia), Chris King (New Zealand), Shohei Hirano (Japan), Wyatt Crockett (New Zealand), Greg Pleasants-Tate (New Zealand), Corey Flynn (New Zealand)

    Robbie Deans is again the coach of World XV

    The World XV outfit will have just four days together in Perth, with most having not experienced the rule variations of Global Rapid Rugby.
    But Deans is adamant his team will be ready to put on a show.
    “We have achieved wins off similar time frames in terms of preparation against the Japanese Test side and the players we have selected for this game won’t lack for motivation,” Deans said.
    “In a few short years, this team has built up an outstanding history to the extent that many who have played have said afterwards the experience ranked up there with the most enjoyable of their careers.”


  • Jesus, is this crap still going?

  • Western Force team for the first game against World XV. The team lists are probably the only thing I'm interested in. Johan Bardoul and Jeremy Thrush still there.

  • @Stargazer said in "World Series Rugby" aka "Global Rapid Rugby":

    Western Force team for the first game against World XV. The team lists are probably the only thing I'm interested in. Johan Bardoul and Jeremy Thrush still there.

    Other then Thrush its a veritable whos who, of who the fuck are you!

  • Twiggy to the rescue for Super Rugby's axed Sunwolves?

    The Sunwolves and a Fiji team would live on in an Asian Super Rugby competition under top secret plans being worked up by SANZAAR.
    In a move unlikely to soften the blow to the Sunwolves, who were informed late on Wednesday they would be cut from Super Rugby from 2021, it appears there would still be a place for them in a division two-style tie-up with Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's Global Rapid Rugby.
    The concept is understood to be the next cab off the rank for SANZAAR, who will announce their Super Rugby plans on Friday but cannot make any broader decisions on the Rugby Championship or other competitions until there is certainty about World Rugby's Nations Championship plan.
    That should come by the end of the month, with the 12-team global competition to live or die by a March 29 deadline for the unions to enter an exclusive negotiation period.
    The Asian Super Rugby concept has formed part of Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle's roadshow briefings to the Australian Super bosses this week.
    The Herald understands it would be a SANZAAR-endorsed competition part-owned by Forrest, Australia's mining billionaire, with a Japanese team to be added to the founding Rapid Rugby clubs, the Western Force, Fiji, Samoa, Hong Kong and Singapore. A Malaysian team and potentially a second Australian team could be added. The Newcastle Hunter Rugby Union was reported to be in "high level" discussions with the Rapid Rugby team about basing a team out of there from next year.
    GRR deflected the issue, keen to keep their focus on this weekend's opening showcase match between the Western Force and a Robbie Deans-coached World XV selection.
    "The drive to provide an innovative and exciting brand of rugby throughout the Asia Pacific region in 2019 remains unchanged. Global Rapid Rugby is here for the long term," a spokesperson said.

  • "Top Secret" obviously has a different definition than it used to!

    If true that's good to see that SANZAAR are talking and working with rather than fighting and working against other tournys

  • @Stargazer Looks like Oz is furiously developing a second tier because they think that's where they'll end up.

    If they are serious about developing a second tier competition, they'd be better off not subscribing to the stupid laws.

  • @antipodean Yep, agree 100%.

  • With World XV squad:

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  • @Stargazer said in "World Series Rugby" aka "Global Rapid Rugby":

    With World XV squad:

    That's, ummm, underwhelming.

  • @Kruse star studded compared to the force

  • @Kruse

    I have only heard of 4 or 5 of them and they were never in contention for a world xv even when they were at their peak!

  • @Kruse Yep, that's what you get when you have to assemble players who are not involved in any club competition at the moment. Basically, retirees, third stringers and players who play in the Japanese competition (the only competition having a break at the moment).

  • Watched the second half of this game. Not remembering all the rule variations, I found the refereeing a bit off and I don't know whether that was because a different rule was applied, or whether the ref was shit. Some of that was definitely the latter, as high tackles and forward passes were clearly missed.

    Western Force won the game 26 to 16, but obviously they've played a full season under these rules, while the World XV squad only came together early this week. If it wasn't for Nick Cummins having a mare, World XV would probably have won (their defence was excellent, except for the last 10 minutes or so, when they'd emptied the tanks). He butchered three try scoring opportunities by knocking the ball on, one of those coming from an awesome break from Spowart that was a "power try" in the making, only for Cummins to drop the ball. Has he always been that bad?

    Anyway, one thing is true about "rapid rugby" and that it is indeed fast, really fast. Having rolling subs and the game only lasting 70 minutes was an absolute necessity, esp for many of the retirees in the World XV squad, although I was quite surprised how good Corey Flynn still is. Pleasants-Tate' constant niggles with the opposition were hilarious at times, as was a break he made in the second half; the surprised look on his face when he sliced through the Force' defence was gold. Ellis is still a classy player and Finau and Spowart were good, too.

    One impression I got from the game was that there's a strong "AFL feel" to this format, both due to the speed and the frequent (high) kicking. Unfortunately, that also led to a lot of ball handling errors from both teams. They can keep it in Australia; I hope never to see it here, but I'm glad that the Perth crowd seemed to like it. After the Force being pulled from Super Rugby, it's good that they've games to go to that they enjoy.

  • @Stargazer How did Renton go?

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