ARU to help Forrest set up new rugby comp

Sep 15, 2017 - 10:23 AM The Australian Rugby Union appear set to endorse Andrew Forrest's new rugby competition after agreeing to help the billionaire mining magnate set it up.

The ARU has established a working group to assist in the development of the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship (IPRC).

The group will be headed by former Wallabies flanker and current vice-chairman of the ARU board Brett Robinson.

Key high performance, commercial, and legal representatives from the ARU management team will also be part of the working group.

Forrest launched the IPRC earlier this week, with the six-team, 10-round competition to kick off in August next year.

The competition will run after the Super Rugby season, and Forrest wants to attract the best players in the world.

Forrest's major aim is to turn Australian rugby into a powerhouse.

But if the ARU choose not to endorse the competition, it would mean Australia's best rugby players would shun it for fear of compromising their Wallabies hopes.

However, the ARU's announcement on Friday that it would make a "serious commitment to work in collaboration with Andrew Forrest's team to develop the IPRC concept" bodes well for the competition.

"There is a significant amount of detail to work through and it is critical for ARU to be able to fully understand how it can support the IPRC and ensure it plays a constructive role in building the game across the country and producing successful Wallabies and national teams," ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said.

"We understand the urgency on getting alignment on the key issues of calendar alignment, player contracting and player eligibility, which is why we have committed ARU resources to work through these elements as soon as possible.

"Ultimately the most important outcome is to find a solution that creates a stronger Australian Rugby.

"We will also consult with others outside the management team, including coaches, to ensure that we are working towards the best outcomes from a high performance perspective."

Forrest's competition would be like the IPL of rugby.

The IPRC will feature a series of rule changes designed to encourage high-scoring, free-flowing rugby.

A try could be worth more than five points.

Each game-day experience could also feature a rugby sevens game and a women's rugby game.

Music will also be part of the entertainment, with Forrest's team in the process of coming up with a whole range of entertainment aspects that will add to the experience for fans.

"We will be taking the cues from American college (football), where you'll have a bigger audience turnout than what we get in the AFL grand final," Forrest said.

"And there can be even more people in the car parks than there are in the stadiums.

"It doesn't matter if your team wins or loses. You'll have an afternoon which is one to remember."

Source: AAP

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