WA billionaire mining magnate, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, has vowed to work with the ARU in a bid to create a six-team Indo Pacific Rugby Championship.
Twiggy hopes the competition will lure Australian players back from overseas – in addition to enticing current Wallabies to play – with kick-off for the inaugural season to take place in less than 12 months.
The ‘Perthonality’ today revealed more detail behind his plan which aims to draw teams from Asia and the Pacific regions including Singapore, Samoa, Fiji, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia, as well as Australia’s Western Force.
In a bid to avoid direct competition with the Super Rugby season, the IRPC would start in August and provide a viable option to attract Australian Super Rugby players to play out the remainder of the year.
Given the competition would run at the same time as the Wallabies’ winter and spring campaigns, Forrest said all players will be available for Wallabies selection, if the ARU allowed Super Rugby players to partake in the IPRC.
“We need to say ‘hey boys, it’s time to come home. This is a home which can offer your family and you the security you want longer term, and that’s called the IPRC,” Forrest said.
“I would say we are prepared to go toe-to-toe for the first time in Australian rugby’s history with anything that is put on the table for an Australian player from Europe or Japan or the other destinations where our 130-odd Australian, Super Rugby-standard players are now residing overseas.”