Aussie min­ing mag­nate plans 6-team tour­na­ment

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

AUS­TRALIAN min­ing bil­lion­aire Andrew For­rest is pre­par­ing to launch the Indo Pa­cific Rugby Cham­pi­onship, a six-team com­pe­ti­tion sched­ule to be­gin next Au­gust.

For­rest was be­hind a push to have the West­ern Force team re­main in Su­per Rugby, but the Aus­tralian Rugby Union cut the Perth-based club from the com­pe­ti­tion for next sea­son. The Force also lost a Supreme Court at­tempt to have the ARU de­ci­sion over­turned.

Perth is set to be one of the teams in the new league, while Sin­ga­pore has been men­tioned as an­other.

For­rest yes­ter­day said he was in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the ARU to en­sure play­ers who com­pete in his com­pe­ti­tion will also be el­i­gi­ble to play Su­per Rugby and rep­re­sent the Wal­la­bies.

For­rest said it would be in the ARU’s best in­ter­ests to al­low Wal­la­bies play­ers to fea­ture in the new com­pe­ti­tion.

Last month, For­rest called on Cameron Clyne to re­sign as ARU chair­man over rugby’s na­tional gov­ern­ing body’s de­ci­sion to axe the Force from the re­vamped Su­per Rugby com­pe­ti­tion. But the two men have since rec­on­ciled their dif­fer­ences, and For­rest said his dis­cus­sions with the ARU about the new com­pe­ti­tion had been pos­i­tive.

“There’s been a fair bit of wa­ter un­der the bridge with Cameron and I,” For­rest said. “We had a frank and friendly dis­cus­sion when he was here re­cently. But now with the West­ern Force be­com­ing an in­ter­na­tional team ... there should be noth­ing but col­lab­o­ra­tion on be­half of Aus­tralian rugby.”

Clyne said in a state­ment that the ARU is “in­volved in col­lab­o­ra­tive dis­cus­sions with Andrew For­rest.”

“We do not wish to com­ment on the specifics of any pro­posed new com­pe­ti­tions while these dis­cus­sions are at a pre­lim­i­nary stage,” Clyne added. “ARU re­mains com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing a strong rugby pres­ence in West­ern Aus­tralia and will ex­plore all op­tions in this re­gard.” –

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