AusBN - Mining billionaire Andre Forrest is planning to launch a breakaway rugby union competition to rival the Super Rugby following the Australian Rugby Union’s (ARU) decision to dismiss Western Force.
The Fortescue Metals Group chairman intends to create what is being described as the ‘IPL of rugby’ in a bid to guarantee the future of his hometown team from Perth.
The new competition will be made up from six teams spanning the Indo-Pacific region which will hope to attract the world’s best players. Details are expected to be released in the coming days.
The announcement comes after the NSW Supreme Court dismissed RugbyWA’s appeal against the decision by the ARU to remove the club from next year’s Super Rugby tournament.
"Let me assure you, this is not a great day for the ARU, this is a great day for Australian rugby," Forrest said. "Discussions have commenced across the world and within our own state and country to ensure this competition starts and starts strongly.
"We will include strong and deeply powerful players, broadcasters and fans of rugby all across the Indo-Pacific region where some 60% of the world's people live.
"This is the beginning of the new Force, this is the beginning of the new Indo-Pacific competition and I am delighted to be an instigator of it.
"I'd like to start it with an international game which is yet to be announced and you may be assured I don't let the grass grow under my feet, so it will be as soon as possible and much faster than the ARU could ever organise."
Australian teams would potentially be able to break away from Super Rugby in 2020 when the current broadcast agreement culminates.