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Thread: Finally Shaghai is official

  1. #1
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    Finally Shaghai is official

    Western Force’s draw for inaugural Global Rapid Rugby comp revealed

    Nick Taylor
    The West Australian
    Friday, 31 January 2020 6:00AM

    Western Force will play China Lions who will be unveiled as the final team in the inaugural $1 million Global Rapid Rugby competition.
    The China Rugby Football Association has joined in a joint venture with New Zealand’s domestic championship winning Bay Of Plenty and are expected to play games in both Shanghai and Rotorua.
    The Lions join the Force, a Malaysian side backed by the South African Currie Cup club Valke, Fijian Latui, Manuma Samoa and the Hong Kong-based South China Tigers.
    The Force kick off their 10-round, home and away season against Malaysia Valke at HBF Park on March 14 with the grand final also to be played at the stadium in June.
    GRR is the vision of mining magnate Andrew Forrest who was angered by Rugby Australia’s controversial axing of the Force from Super Rugby and rejection of his $70 million offer to keep the club alive.
    It has evolved from the ground-breaking invitation World Series Rugby and last year’s Showcase Series in which the Force was unbeaten.
    GRR chief executive Mark Evans said the inclusion of China was crucial to the long-term development of rugby throughout Asia.
    “Our expansion into China is an important development for the competition. We believe that rugby has the potential to become a popular and successful sport throughout the country,” Evans said.
    “Rugby is a game with broad appeal. Add the on-going energy, entertainment and family fun created by Rapid Rugby and I am confident crowds in Shanghai will love supporting their home team, the Lions”
    “We thank the China Rugby Football Association for its assistance and belief in what we are trying to achieve.
    “The ongoing support of New Zealand Rugby has always been greatly appreciated. It is tremendously exciting to be involved with a progressive operation like Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.”
    The Force schedule includes a trip to Shanghai on April 19 and a return clash in Perth on May 24 but both clubs will be monitoring their commitments amid the coronavirus crisis.

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    CHINA AND NEW ZEALAND JOIN RUGBY REVOLUTION
    January 31, 2020
    Global Rapid Rugby has unveiled the China Lions as the final team in its inaugural home-and-away competition this year. China Rugby Football Association and New Zealand’s domestic championship winning Bay of Plenty have formed an exciting joint venture.

    The Lions are the sixth team to be announced as part of Global Rapid Rugby Season One in 2020, joining Australia’s Western Force, the Malaysia Valke representing both Malaysia and South Africa, Fijian Latui, Manuma Samoa and the Hong Kong based South China Tigers.

    Fast paced and explosive by name and nature, Season One includes a AU$1 million total prize pool, 30 games over 10 rounds and a one-off Grand Final.

    Global Rapid Rugby CEO, Mark Evans, described the inclusion of China as ‘crucial’ to the long-term development of rugby throughout Asia.

    “Our expansion into China is an important development for the competition. We believe that rugby has the potential to become an extremely popular and successful sport throughout the country,” Evans said.

    “Rugby is a game with broad appeal. Add the on-going energy, entertainment and family fun created by Rapid Rugby and I am confident crowds in Shanghai will love supporting their home team, the Lions.

    “We thank the China Rugby Football Association for its assistance and belief in what we are trying to achieve. The ongoing support of New Zealand Rugby has always been greatly appreciated. It is tremendously exciting to be involved with a progressive operation like Bay of Plenty Rugby Union,” Evans said.

    This year is the perfect time to expand the rugby footprint in China. The national women’s team will make China’s Olympic Rugby debut in Tokyo and the men’s team will continue its attempt to qualify for the 2020 Games.

    Mr Chen, President of China Rugby Football Association, says Rapid Rugby is an appealing concept with an exciting future.

    “China Rugby Football Association partnering with Bay of Plenty Rugby to compete in Rapid Rugby supports the strategy for the growth of rugby in China. We are very excited about our Chinese women’s team competing this year in the Olympics in Tokyo and see this new partnership as part of our strategy of providing opportunities to develop our Chinese players and coaches and raise the profile of rugby in China.”

    Bay of Plenty Rugby Union CEO, Mike Rogers, described the partnership with Chinese Rugby and Rapid Rugby as a bold step forward.

    “Bay of Plenty Rugby is excited about partnering with the China Rugby Football Association to participate in Rapid Rugby 2020 and over time grow the game of rugby in China. The vision of Rapid Rugby is one that we share and we are committed to growing the fantastic Rapid Rugby brand in the Asian region.”

    The creation of Australian businessman and internationally renowned philanthropist Andrew Forrest AO, Global Rapid Rugby began as a Perth based Exhibition Series in 2018 and developed into a 2019 Showcase Series across seven Asia Pacific territories, featuring 70-minute matches, revolutionary new rules and an emphasis on off-field entertainment for fans.

    Global Rapid Rugby Season One will kick off on March 13 with the Grand Final in Perth on June 6. The full match schedule will be released soon.

    Global Rapid Rugby will monitor and follow the advice of relevant health authorities around the Coronavirus and immediately communicate any relevant information to stakeholders.

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    Or even Shanghai!

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    Add a couple of Japanese teams, that starts to look like a genuinely sustainable comp with real potential. The partnering concept is interesting; wonder if a European presence might be possible.

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    Exciting times

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    I prefer Shaghai
    They could be the Shaggers
    Or the Coronas on away games

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    Champion andrewM's Avatar
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    I agree, China is a big place, needs a bit more local identity

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Add a couple of Japanese teams, that starts to look like a genuinely sustainable comp with real potential. The partnering concept is interesting; wonder if a European presence might be possible.
    Mate, that's not going to happen. The Japanese Pro League project is apparently moving forward and are expecting to finals the bids by the end of March. And even without it considering the Top League are seeing bumper crowds I doubt they'd be the appetite to change things up to that extent. They are even talking about the Sunwolves getting involved and Jamie Joseph is pushing for the season to align more with SR.

    What I have seen is mention of Hyundai Glovis in South Korea being keen to going professional and looking at GRR as a possible option.

    Will be interesting to see how things work out in the future. Apparently the the groups of investors that hold stakes in the Chiefs, Highlanders, Hurricanes and Crusaders are none too pleased with the reversion to the single round robin for SR as they don't receive any of the TV money involved and have to rely on gate and merchandise takings. So cutting the number of home games to 6 or 7 a season isn't good business for them. Which could pose an interesting business opportunity for the Aus/NZ SR franchises, GRR and the Japanese Pro League. If they got together and figured out a solid number of teams that each of the leagues could have say 8 a piece they could run both a 14 game regular season as well as an Asia-Pacific Cup competition that could provide everyone with at least 10 home games a season.

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    Last edited by WCRugger; 31-01-20 at 10:50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCRugger View Post
    Mate, that's not going to happen.
    Maybe so, but ...

    No one really knows what's going to happen.

    Even blokes who've signed up to Reddit and visit t2rugby.com

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    I wasn't talking instead of, but as well as. Agree that if they overlap the Top League will get the nod, but I heard there was a lot of push-back on the timing, specifically from the companies it relies on. Also hard to see how they somehow shoe-horn a Sunwolves team into a comp that will remain corporate well into the future, but talking to Robbie Deans last year it seems common sense is in as short supply at JRU headquarters as it is at RA.

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    I can't wait to be infected by the enthusiasm of this team.

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  12. #12
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    Lions facebook page up and running
    https://www.facebook.com/chinalions/?tn-str=k*F

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewM View Post
    I agree, China is a big place, needs a bit more local identity
    The grass will eventually become milk, grasshopper.

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    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    The grass will eventually become milk, grasshopper.
    True, but also quite a lot of pooh in the interim...

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  15. #15
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    True, but also quite a lot of pooh in the interim...


    Very profound Andy!!

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    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

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