Carter, Giteau linked to breakaway comp
BILLIONAIRE mining magnate Andrew Forrest says star players from around the world are banging down the door to ask about his new Global Rapid Rugby competition.
Forrest will launch the competition in either late February or early March, and he's hoping to attract about 20 of the world's top 100 rugby players.
Former All Black Dan Carter has already been linked to the new league, while Matt Giteau's name has also been floated.
The marquee players will be spread across the eight franchises, with no salary cap in place for the league.
Global Rapid Rugby has already been conditionally sanctioned by the World Rugby Council, with Rugby Australia also giving its blessing.
The Western Force will join teams from Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Fiji, and Samoa in the breakaway competition that will feature rule changes to encourage a more exciting game style.
The eighth and final team has yet to be announced, but it could come from Hawaii.
Forrest said his phone had already been ringing hot from stars who are considering joining the new competition.
"There's so much I'd love to tell you. There's action everywhere," Forrest said.
"We are receiving a number of calls. We don't have to make them, they're ringing us.
"They are some of the best names, you could reel them off the top of your head.
"I'm not going to mention any of them, but please watch this space."
A little more than three months remains before the new competition kicks off.
And for those who doubt whether that is enough time, Forrest has a simple message for them.
"I heard that when we got World Series Rugby up and running in six weeks," Forrest said.
"We were told it was completely impossible. For the fans who turned out, many of them said it was the best game of rugby they had ever seen.
"We're all full steam ahead. We are up and away. This show is on the road."
Forrest's idea of launching a competition in the Indo Pacific region was born after the Force were dumped from Super Rugby.
GLOBAL RAPID RUGBY
*Eight teams across the Asia Pacific region
*14 rounds, 56 games plus four finals
*Up to 20 of the world's best players as competition marquees
*A fast-paced, 70-minute total game time
*New and revised laws to increase ball in play time towards 55 per cent
POSSIBLE RULE CHANGES
*No direct kicks for touch from inside the 22 metres to encourage ball in hand counter-attack
*A power try - scored from a move starting in the 22 metres - will be worth nine points with no conversion needed.
*Penalties reduced from three to two points
*Defence a further five metres back at the scrum
*A side retains possession if the ball is kicked from their own 40m and bounces out in the opposition 22 metres
*No 'mark" call in the 22 metres
*Ten rolling substitutions
*Reduced time for kick-offs and penalties
*Red-carded players can be replaced after 15 minutes.