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Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sun, 10 Dec 2017, 12:13

The ARU can block any player playing in Forrests league from playing for the Wallabies. They hold most of the trump cards.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Sables4EVA » Sun, 10 Dec 2017, 13:17

http://www.sarugby.co.za/article.aspx?c ... id=4193664

As much as I know RugbyLiebe has an issue with these names being brought up all the time but any professional league would be an option for these 2 franchises, in either hemisphere.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 10 Dec 2017, 15:55

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:The ARU can block any player playing in Forrests league from playing for the Wallabies. They hold most of the trump cards.



But they shouldn't be viewing it as a game of cards to win or lose!

So what if it over takes Super Rugby? That would be great for the game in Australia. This is a classic example of how national unions are more concerned with keeping their power even at the cost to the game itself. ARU should be looking at this as a great chance to get out of professional rugby and concentrate on running the national team and supporting grass roots.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby 4N » Sun, 10 Dec 2017, 16:12

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:The ARU can block any player playing in Forrests league from playing for the Wallabies. They hold most of the trump cards.


Disagree. They risk further alienating the rugby public. They have seats to (try to) fill for SR and the Wallabies, in a very competitive sporting environment with lots of other options for the fan.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sun, 10 Dec 2017, 20:30

I'm not saying that it would be the right thing to do by the ARU. I'm saying I think if they don't get near 100% of what they want from Forrest then they will do what they can to kill this venture. And they have ample tools at their disposal to do so.

And yes, if that happened it'd be idiotic and counterproductive.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 11 Dec 2017, 08:34

Sables4EVA wrote:http://www.sarugby.co.za/article.aspx?category=sarugby&id=4193664

As much as I know RugbyLiebe has an issue with these names being brought up all the time but any professional league would be an option for these 2 franchises, in either hemisphere.


Actually I am very divided on this issue. The Pro14 has absolutely gained attraction for me with the addition of SA franchises. But off course it doesn't help rugby to grow one single bit. The SA attendances have been not that good, too.
Adding SA franchises to this league is even more senseless, as one important point is having not as big time differences as in Super Rugby.

To put it all in a nutshell, I am simply surprised by the lack of imagination that Rugby could grow in other countries even more, if there was just more interest by the powerhouses to actually grow it. Put nearly all of those Unions are busy trying to create new variations of all their provinces/ clubs/ franchises already in existence.

Edit: what is so wrong with the SuperSport Rugby Challenge/ Vodacom cup, that everybody seems so unsaturated rugby-wise?
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Thomas » Tue, 06 Mar 2018, 09:23

This in today's morning press:

New competition launched by andrew-forrest

Western Force 2018 squad
AJ Alatimu, Chris Alcock, Marcel Brache, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Rod Davies, Andrew Deegan, Tevin Ferris, Jaque Fourie, Josh Furno, Peter Grant, Chris Heiberg, Rodney Iona, Feleti Kaitu’u, Brad Lacey, Kieran Longbottom, Ryan Louwrens, Cameron Orr, Harrison Orr, Leon Power, Ian Prior, Harry Scoble, Tom Sheminant, Brynard Stander.

Western Force 2018 fixtures
May 4 vs Fiji
May 13 vs Tonga
June 9 vs Rebels
June 22 vs Crusaders
July 13 vs Samoa
August 10 vs Hong Kong
August 17 vs TBC

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Raven » Tue, 06 Mar 2018, 11:52

Pity the Cheetahs and Southern Kings jumped on the Pro14 so fast (although I suppose the money isn´t a weak point to consider) but with Western Force creating this "League" and South America also wanting an 8 team franchise system imagine what a "second Tier" of Super Rugby would be... kind of what Pro14 is to Top14 or the Premiership. Forget about a relegation-promotion, but perhaps have a Cup Comp between them Leagues, who knows, branch out to North America too...

I doubt South America is able to create a profitable and enjoyable league with enough teams of their own, but add the Kings, Cheetahs and another African team, not necessarily from SA; and make them play against Pacific Nations teams after...

Big dreamer I know.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Thomas » Tue, 06 Mar 2018, 12:18

They 2 key dates that caught my eye were:

June 9 vs Rebels
June 22 vs Crusaders

and then it dawn on me that this happens during the June internationals which makes me think Rebels and Crusader must be fielding a B Team.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 06 Mar 2018, 12:27

So they start with a series of friendlies in Perth. Fair enough. Gonna be interesting how the interest and more important the gate is.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 06 Mar 2018, 13:08

This is more of a means to keep the Western Force active and the brand in the public eye in preparation for the IPRC next year. Apparently the ARU have come to terms with Forrest also and that players involved with the new league will be eligible for Wallaby selection, so everything is good to go for next year.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby ruckovercdn » Tue, 06 Mar 2018, 13:51

Raven wrote:Pity the Cheetahs and Southern Kings jumped on the Pro14 so fast (although I suppose the money isn´t a weak point to consider) but with Western Force creating this "League" and South America also wanting an 8 team franchise system imagine what a "second Tier" of Super Rugby would be.


You mean the Currie Cup, Mitre 10 Cup, Top League, or NRC?

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby YamahaKiwi » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 01:33

NZ Herald story today saying the other team, as shown to be TBC in the Force's schedule above, in this new World Series Rugby competition is a Japanese one. Likely I guess to be Suntory or Panasonic (given Crusaders are in comp and Robbie Deans is Pana coach)

Oh story also says tries in this comp will be worth 10pts

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12007898

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby YamahaKiwi » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 05:15

Of course it could be the Sunwolves too.

My 2 cents is that I would've preferred when SR went to 18 teams a separated regular season anyway between RSA/ARG and NZ/AUS/JPN. That would've solved a whole lot of the crap that happened the last couple of years. I would prefer this format (and to open up Asian division + PI Suva based team) and to keep RSA in SH rugby but if RSA go Europe-wards after the current contract ends, then I think NZ has to go with this new comp. There's no way we have enough financial clout to go alone. We'd whither and die in no time.

Therefore I think it's telling that the Saders are part of the mix this year. I'm sure if the NZRFU were opposed to Forrest they could stop the Saders playing the Force etc but the NZRFU has consistently been open to possibilities in East Asia & North America for strategic reasons. Steve Tew aint dumb. He knows NZ rugby is under presure from European clubs and they need to make allies with recourse to financial resources that can help keep the best Kiwi players in NZ.

Btw Aussies, maybe you don't care what happens to us. But I'll remind you that when rugby was in real trouble in NSW & QLD in the 70s, our provinces cared and agreed to play yours to try and help. That's where the whole South Pacific Champs in the 80s came from. So maybe in the near future it might be the cousins turn to repay the debt.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby YamahaKiwi » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 05:25

One thing I do find confusing about this guy, amongst all the kicking of the ARU (admittedly mostly self-inflicted), is why did he wait until the Force were under threat of closure before doing all this? Why when it was obvious the Force had financial issues a few years ago did he not pipe up then? That he waited until the 11th hour to come out and do anything quite frankly pi**es me off. Yes the ARU are the main idiots but this guy should not be without criticism either just because he now comes out and says I'll put a billion $ into rugby. I'd like to say to the guy if I met him "Thanks a bunch mate, that's great, but where the f**k were you 5 or even 10 years ago when we could have used you?". So yes I have a real problem with the guy's integrity in that he waited till a team was on the chopping block before he bloody well decided to do anything.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby ihateblazers » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 05:37

YamahaKiwi wrote:One thing I do find confusing about this guy, amongst all the kicking of the ARU (admittedly mostly self-inflicted), is why did he wait until the Force were under threat of closure before doing all this? Why when it was obvious the Force had financial issues a few years ago did he not pipe up then? That he waited until the 11th hour to come out and do anything quite frankly pi**es me off. Yes the ARU are the main idiots but this guy should not be without criticism either just because he now comes out and says I'll put a billion $ into rugby. I'd like to say to the guy if I met him "Thanks a bunch mate, that's great, but where the f**k were you 5 or even 10 years ago when we could have used you?". So yes I have a real problem with the guy's integrity in that he waited till a team was on the chopping block before he bloody well decided to do anything.


I would say he's doing it for self promotion and branding. To he fair though it is very unattractive to become an investor/owner of a super rugby team.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 07:48

YamahaKiwi wrote:Of course it could be the Sunwolves too.

My 2 cents is that I would've preferred when SR went to 18 teams a separated regular season anyway between RSA/ARG and NZ/AUS/JPN. That would've solved a whole lot of the crap that happened the last couple of years. I would prefer this format (and to open up Asian division + PI Suva based team) and to keep RSA in SH rugby but if RSA go Europe-wards after the current contract ends, then I think NZ has to go with this new comp. There's no way we have enough financial clout to go alone. We'd whither and die in no time.

Therefore I think it's telling that the Saders are part of the mix this year. I'm sure if the NZRFU were opposed to Forrest they could stop the Saders playing the Force etc but the NZRFU has consistently been open to possibilities in East Asia & North America for strategic reasons. Steve Tew aint dumb. He knows NZ rugby is under presure from European clubs and they need to make allies with recourse to financial resources that can help keep the best Kiwi players in NZ.

Btw Aussies, maybe you don't care what happens to us. But I'll remind you that when rugby was in real trouble in NSW & QLD in the 70s, our provinces cared and agreed to play yours to try and help. That's where the whole South Pacific Champs in the 80s came from. So maybe in the near future it might be the cousins turn to repay the debt.


I think you'll find most Aussies are in favour of NZ tagging along if this new league eventuates and Super Rugby comes to an end. I guess though it's entirely down to the NZRU what they choose, they've long dismissed a Trans Tasman league because they want to preserve the connection to South Africa under the now misguided idea they still produce the best players. Australia has always been at the forefront of a Trans Tasman league so the door will be open for sure for Kiwi teams.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby YamahaKiwi » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 21:57

I'll repeat what I've said before. The problem is two internal factions within the union. Plenty of NZRFU people were for going to the conference system & ditching RSA for the regular season. Unfortunately the high performance unit faction that has a lot of influence in the NZRFU through coaches like Wayne Smith etc base the ABs recent dominance over Boks on their soil on our players getting yearly, regular experience there so were very opposed to dropping touring RSA from SR regular season...and they won the internal fight.

The crap happening over your side of the ditch and the poor record of your SR teams v ours in the last couple of years hasn't helped the pro Australia-Asia tie up faction. Obviously I hate losing to you guys but if you were to be more successful against our teams this year, a part of me might secretly be a little bit happy if it helps to push the NZRFU towards Australia and Asia.

As I said, I'd really like to keep RSA in SR so it seems a terrible thing to hope for, but them moving all teams to Europe would force the NZRFU's hand and make the high performance unit's stance moot anyway. If Australia was to leave SR, and NZ stuck with RSA teams & Jaguares in a reduced SR comp that would be just incredibly dumb imo. It's increasingly obvious SR as it is doesn't have the financial power to oppose European clubs, so retaining SR without Australia just would make it even weaker. Really it'd be no better than NZ going it alone.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby victorsra » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 22:30

One thing I do find confusing about this guy, amongst all the kicking of the ARU (admittedly mostly self-inflicted), is why did he wait until the Force were under threat of closure before doing all this? Why when it was obvious the Force had financial issues a few years ago did he not pipe up then? That he waited until the 11th hour to come out and do anything quite frankly pi**es me off. Yes the ARU are the main idiots but this guy should not be without criticism either just because he now comes out and says I'll put a billion $ into rugby. I'd like to say to the guy if I met him "Thanks a bunch mate, that's great, but where the f**k were you 5 or even 10 years ago when we could have used you?". So yes I have a real problem with the guy's integrity in that he waited till a team was on the chopping block before he bloody well decided to do anything.


Really bizarre. And he also looks like to have now found out that Asian rugby is still years away to offer a proper competition to Force... I am still not buying the IPRC. That makes very little sense...

Maybe he is praying for the South Africans to leave Super Rugby and move definitly to PRO14. And Force would be welcomed back to a more rational Pacific League...
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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 22:38

victorsra wrote:
One thing I do find confusing about this guy, amongst all the kicking of the ARU (admittedly mostly self-inflicted), is why did he wait until the Force were under threat of closure before doing all this? Why when it was obvious the Force had financial issues a few years ago did he not pipe up then? That he waited until the 11th hour to come out and do anything quite frankly pi**es me off. Yes the ARU are the main idiots but this guy should not be without criticism either just because he now comes out and says I'll put a billion $ into rugby. I'd like to say to the guy if I met him "Thanks a bunch mate, that's great, but where the f**k were you 5 or even 10 years ago when we could have used you?". So yes I have a real problem with the guy's integrity in that he waited till a team was on the chopping block before he bloody well decided to do anything.


Really bizarre. And he also looks like to have now found out that Asian rugby is still years away to offer a proper competition to Force... I am still not buying the IPRC. That makes very little sense...

Maybe he is praying for the South Africans to leave Super Rugby and move definitly to PRO14. And Force would be welcomed back to a more rational Pacific League...


I think what we'll end up seeing is these potential Asian teams featuring the significant presence of imported international talent with only the best locals making the squad instead of them just being totally locally sourced. There's actually more to this than just having the league. From what I've read there will also be extensive development works backing these franchises.

The goal appears to be about creating participation and pathways for future players from within these nations to feature more and more but initially for the sake of competitiveness we'll be seeing imported talent take up the strain.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby victorsra » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 22:53

Isn't it strange he came up with all this project so quickly from zero?
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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 23:31

He had no choice. Western Australia is the third biggest state provider of rugby talent in the nation and the local government spent tens of million in helping the Western Force. That couldn't go to waste. Part of this might be a bit of a 'screw you' to the ARU, but the fact he was seeking sanctioning so players could still be made available for the Wallabies says to me he was doing it with the games interests at heart. He could easily have just ploughed ahead with an unsanctioned league if it was all about making a quick dollar.

As for the Asian teams, most likely it will be overseas talent filling the roles, however I do think it's important to have as many local players involved as possible. Having a Toronto Wolfpack situation where its entirely foreign players is not good for development for rugby in those nations, there needs to be a mix of local and overseas talent, a pathway that says local can play professionally in their home country.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 23:35

victorsra wrote:Isn't it strange he came up with all this project so quickly from zero?


There were suspicions of something in the works for some time during the entire Force saga. Forrest has been a long time sponsor of the team and a known Rugby fan (played the game as well) and people were wondering why he hadn't stepped up earlier. It appears he may have been working on his contingency plans.

People may ask why? Well, he's a business man who's made his fortune from striking at the right time. He could have thought this was the right time. Perhaps he like I, think's that the direction of the game in our region, future is in Asia not the status quo. And this saga has given him the impetus to drive it there. There are numerous reasons to pursue this path.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 07 Mar 2018, 23:36

thatrugbyguy wrote:He had no choice. Western Australia is the third biggest state provider of rugby talent in the nation and the local government spent tens of million in helping the Western Force. That couldn't go to waste. Part of this might be a bit of a 'screw you' to the ARU, but the fact he was seeking sanctioning so players could still be made available for the Wallabies says to me he was doing it with the games interests at heart. He could easily have just ploughed ahead with an unsanctioned league if it was all about making a quick dollar.

As for the Asian teams, most likely it will be overseas talent filling the roles, however I do think it's important to have as many local players involved as possible. Having a Toronto Wolfpack situation where its entirely foreign players is not good for development for rugby in those nations, there needs to be a mix of local and overseas talent, a pathway that says local can play professionally in their home country.


Part of the IPRC plans involve extensive development works in each nation they'll feature.

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Re: Western Force potentially looking for an Asian League

Postby YamahaKiwi » Thu, 08 Mar 2018, 10:08

Yeah there's no way any of those Asian teams, even HKG or Korea could be competitive with just their own players. Even in HKG and Koreas case I'd say you might get 10 to 15 local players absolute max in the squad and maybe 6-7 for starters in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka etc. But def you want some because to me the Wolfpack being made up almost totally of foregn players is a farce. The development/academy aspect of the venture would be so very important.

Two other positives of such a competition could be the opportunity to have many more PI players in this competition, which would also help their test match availability for potential matches v Wallabies & ABs etc, (I still think it's an absolute imperative that a Suva based PI team is included if SR survives or this comp takes over given the success of SR games held there in the last couple of years) and be a boost for PI rugby, and secondly for the Asian teams to act as sabbatical opportunities for Wallabies & ABs if they want to play somewhere outside Australasia while still being eligible for NT honours (infact the eligibility clause could apply for non capped players as well who say have already played 5 years for teams based in their home country).

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