Will Twiggy’s IPRC step on the toes of the NRC?

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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203 Have your say

    Another day, another Andrew Forrest press conference, it seems, and yesterday we finally welcomed some actual detail about the mining magnate’s grand plans to… well, make Australian rugby great again.

    In confirming his Indo-Pacific Rugby Championship – which I was happy to run with ‘IndoPac’ as a label, but will now cede to the proper ‘IPRC’ acronym – will kick off in mid-August next year, Forrest answered one of the bigger questions floating around about his proposed competition: that no, it won’t compete with Super Rugby.

    But an August 13, 2018 start date for the IPRC is a curious one, as it means the new competition will overlap – and almost certainly compete for players with – Australia’s National Rugby Championship, in which Perth Spirit will continue playing in next season, and which Forrest himself has pledged to become the new naming rights sponsor of with ‘immediate effect’, if the ARU will allow Australian Super Rugby player to bolster the IPRC playing stocks while also maintaining Wallabies eligibility!

    Still following?

    The ARU, to their credit has said they will continue “collaborative discussions with Andrew Forrest and his Minderoo team” over the coming weeks, a clear sign that more than a few bridges have been extinguished and rebuilt in recent days.

    On the surface, this feels like good news for the game locally, that one of the country’s richest people is wanting to invest in the game at a whole new level and with the stated goal of luring players back home, and with a pledge to “go toe-to-toe” with cashed-up clubs in Europe and Japan.

    I still can’t quite get my head around the bit where Forrest would become the naming rights sponsor of the NRC while at the same time actively luring the best NRC players over to the IPRC to be run at the same time, but perhaps that will become clearer in time, too.

    If we’ve gone from what felt like a bloodless rugby coup last week to now not only wanting to work with the ARU but actively engage and assist the governing body do something it has only been able to dream of doing in recent years, then I’m sure a small little quibble like a pretty obvious conflict of priorities will be cleared up soon enough.

    Banks the bolter another tick for the NRC development pathways
    Injured Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty didn’t have a replacement named at first, when the squad for the Argentina Test in Canberra was named last Sunday, but by Monday morning’s first training session, it was hard to miss the smile on Brumbies and Canberra Vikings fullback Tom Banks’ face, as he got around on the training track in a fresh, new Wallabies kit.

    The time last year, Banks was already starting to stand out (again) for Queensland Country in the NRC, and would finish 2016 as one of the leading players in the competition and an easy selection in the NRC Team of the Year. He jumped at the chance to sign a Super Rugby contract with the Brumbies, hoped when he first arrived that he might sneak a game or two from the bench.

    By season’s end, such was Banks’ impact in taking an opportunity in the absence of injured fullback Aidan Toua and subsequently making the No.15 jersey his own, Toua headed for Japan. Banks has been brilliant for the Vikings again for the first two weeks of the competition, and it’s a not at all undeserved national call-up.

    Whether he plays or not is another story of course, and he would certainly be a very different player to Haylett-Petty in that hybrid 14/15 role that ‘DHP’ plays. But with a tour to South Africa and Argentina around the corner, Banks is certainly in the right place at the right time, as far as winning a tour ticket goes.

    It will be interesting to see if the similarly recalled lock Lukhan Tui can force his way into the touring squad, too, or whether Kane Douglas can do enough this week in a Brisbane City side rumoured to be including Quade Cooper and Nick Frisby, too. Regardless, it’s all another nod to the NRC doing its job.

    Welcome home, Drua
    The first match of NRC Round 3 might be the most anticipated match of the season to date; the crowds supporting the Fijians in Brisbane and Melbourne over the opening rounds have been truly wonderful, but you have the feeling that both those crowds will pale in comparison to the reception the Fijian Drua will receive at their first ever NRC match on home soil.

    They were always going to be a wonderful addition to the competition, and it hasn’t take long for their on-field form to match the off-field expectations. Make no mistake, this Drua team are chock-full of talent, and after not being so sure initially if they could give the finals a shake, I now think they definitely can.

    Realistically, if they win three of their four home games, and sneak one more win in Australia to lift them to five wins from eight games, they’ll finish in the top four. And on current form, it would be absolutely deserved.

    Perth vs Greater Sydney also shapes as one of the games of the season, with the Spirit a tough team to beat in front of the McGillivray Oval hill, and the Rams winning their first two games in pretty convincing style.

    NRC ladder
    Greater Sydney Rams 9, Canberra Vikings 8, Fijian Drua 5, Queensland Country 5; Perth Spirit 5, Brisbane City 4; Sydney Rays 0, NSW Country Eagles 0, Melbourne Rising 0.

    Round 3
    1pm: Fiji v NSW Country; Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, Fiji – LIVE on Fox Sports 501
    3pm: Sydney v Melbourne; Pittwater Rugby Park, Sydney – Live streamed

    1pm: Brisbane City v Canberra; University of Queensland, Brisbane – Live streamed
    1pm AWST/3pm AEST: Perth v Greater Sydney; McGillivray Oval, Perth – LIVE on Fox Sports 501

    Queensland Country have the bye.

    Erred with Brisbane City and Melbourne last week, and immediately regretted not picking Queensland Country when I saw their team named. This week, I’ll have Fiji and the Rays on Saturday, Canberra and Perth – on suspicion they’ll recall the cavalry – on Sunday.

    Enjoy your NRC rugby this weekend.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (203)

      • September 14th 2017 @ 6:54am
        concerned supporter said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:54am | ! Report

        Rah Rah,
        Protected by pay wall,how, encouraging you to subscribe to The Australian.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 10:31am
          Perthstayer said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          CS – Type “Australian rugby twiggy santa” in Google. Click on link and you get to the article.

      • Roar Pro

        September 14th 2017 @ 10:22am
        Boosho said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        Yes, as per the unwritten law of comments, please summarize the relevant point of any links you post. Not all of us are comfortable giving $4 to that evil little twit.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 11:18am
          Bakkies said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

          or just paste the article

    • September 14th 2017 @ 6:30am
      tc said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:30am | ! Report

      Brett, I think if Twiggy didn’t get the ARU onboard his plans were toast. So now they need to work together on a plan that will take Australian rugby past 2021.

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 8:30am
        Brett McKay said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        I tend to agree, TC. I was always of the belief that World Rugby sanctioning would make or break the IPRC plans, so working with the ARU is an obvious pathway to achieving that – and, as I mentioned on Tuesday and last week, it might even open up the possibility of World Rugby regional development funding..

        • September 14th 2017 @ 11:19am
          Bakkies said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

          IRB rubber stamp it if the respective unions agree to a cross border competition. This was explained to the Welsh regions who threatened to join the AP. The WRU were never going to agree to that given their commitment to the Pro 12.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 1:37pm
          mtiger said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

          The ARU must agree to it with a view that it can be justified to benefit Australian rugby.

          Here, you have a billionaire willing to punt for you. Of course, he does intend to use much of his money, if there is no way of seeing it back. But his brain is more connected to make it rich.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 6:36am
      Rhys Bosley said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:36am | ! Report

      “I still can’t quite get my head around the bit where Forrest would become the naming rights sponsor of the NRC while at the same time actively luring the best NRC players over to the IPRC to be run at the same time, but perhaps that will become clearer in time, too.”

      Some NPC players may go over, but that just provides more opportunity for club players to play at a higher level after the club season. It was first and foremost a development comp, so surely that is a positive outcome. And the the extra dollars could provide a means of keeping many schoolboy players who are leaving rugby for league, leaving for overseas clubs, not starting rugby and going to AFL in WA etc.

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 8:33am
        Brett McKay said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Yep, valid points there, Boz

        • Roar Pro

          September 14th 2017 @ 11:03am
          Crazy Horse said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          For every club player who gets an opportunity at the top level there are five just as good who just don’t get a spot. As Rhys says, more club players getting a chance to play on when the club season finishes has got to be a good thing. The NRC will probably become an effective reserves comp for the IPRC.

          Twiggy has already said that the IPRC will include other forms of the game (7s, women etc) as a total entertainment package. Perhaps the NRC could be lead up games to IPRC games. Alternatively (or as well) the NRC could be used to provide home games when the Force are playing away to keep fans engaged.

          • Roar Guru

            September 14th 2017 @ 11:21am
            Train Without A Station said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

            For every club player who gets an opportunity at the top level there are five just as good who just don’t get a spot.

            That’s what makes it quality though.

            The point of elite level sport is that it is elite.

          • Roar Guru

            September 14th 2017 @ 11:47am
            PeterK said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report


            the issue though is will the ARU keep funding a NRC comp once it has been delegated to being a reserves comp, or more to the point will foxtel.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 10:32pm
              AndyS said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

              They are the ones who relegated it to that status. It is the SR reserves with the best amateur players making up the numbers, with no apparent intent to ever be anything more. There has been no effort to give it its own identity and is entirely led by SR, which is why all the teams are in more or less the same locations as the SR teams and everyone dismisses the possibility of teams outside that.

    • September 14th 2017 @ 6:56am
      Daveski said | September 14th 2017 @ 6:56am | ! Report

      Loving the Drua thus far. But now for some narkiness.

      If Banks only finally got a start because of a Toua injury ( I thought Larkham finally saw the light and shifted Toua to wing ) it’s an even sadder indictment on Bernie’s talent spotting. Though no worse than Reds management who let him go.

      I’m a half full kinda guy and also follow Asian rugby development closely and I’m just not too sure on this IRPC thing. Case in point is Hong Kong. The 7s sees huge crowds and is treated as a huge major event and something the whole city is proud of. And they are growing participation in men’s, women’s and juniors. But during Asian RC games HK play all their tests against Japan, Korea etc at the small ground inside Happy Valley race course, never at the main stadium. They get 500-1000 and maybe one article in the Sth China Morning Post but nothing in the Cantonese local media.

      In Singapore we’ve seen their appetite for good rugby with Sunwolves “home” games.

      So yeah I’m very very dubious how this is all going to play out. I almost think the NRC needs to become the IRPC but slowly as a better option. Maybe a Samoan Team maybe a HK/China team. Not sure how the two comps can run together.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 7:08am
        Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:08am | ! Report

        Mate we dont need an Asian comp. We’ve got SR and its a debacle. We need a NATIONAL comp with games on at watchable times, with teams that fans can identify with. See my post below.

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 11:33am
        Brett McKay said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        Daveski, Banks started on the wing initially, then only a game or two later, Toua picked up the injury, which was when Banks shifted to fullback. By the time Toua was fit again though, there was no way they could not leave Banks at 15.

        And good questions re the IPRC/NRC overlap. Reckon your concerns echo most..

    • September 14th 2017 @ 7:07am
      Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:07am | ! Report

      The NRC is our only completely national comp. The standard is generally good and it is played at times when people want to watch, either at the game or on TV. Most rugby areas are represented and the Fijian team adds alot, given the ex-pat Fijian living in OZ. It’s a good comp (not “third tier”), slowly building, well liked by the players and fans.

      For Twiggie to try and blow this down is outrageous. He has become the destroyer and his actions are ego-driven magnate bullying. This has nothing to do with the Force. This is Twiggie getting even. Hell hath no fury like a magnate scorned and he is hell-bent on destroying the ARU.

      If he had any guts he would back the NRC and develop it into a truly exciting national competition which could really shine, especially as the other football codes all wrap up in September.

      Fans should let Twiggie know he is not the Messiah.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 7:11am
        Train Without A Station said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:11am | ! Report

        The standard of NRC is quickly approaching the Chanpionship in the UK.

        Add in test players and that only increases.

        If we could sort out the overlap with Club Rugby to give teams more time together to prepare for around 1 it would only improve further.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 7:24am
        Rhys Bosley said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

        Lots of boo hoo on there. Too bad, Twiggy will do what he has to to look after WA’s interests, which he is perfectly entitled to given the way they have been treated. The only choices for everyone else are to make the most of or be bypassed, with any consequences and lost opportunities that this may entail. Fortunately the ARU seem to have belatedly grown a brain on that matter and have started cooperating.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 7:34am
          Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

          wrong. Twiggie is looking alot like Trump here..build a wall, looks like he’s sucked you in.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 9:13am
            rock86 said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

            You are kidding yourself.

            WA have been shafted here, and Twiggy wants to keep WA Rugby in the professional rugby scene. Maybe if the ARU had done a bit more groundwork in the first place before taking the easiest of easy options.

            Twiggy is looking after a team he’s sponsored from the start and one the he has poured considerable money into their junior development program, he’s doing what he thinks is best for his state and good on him.

            A whole lot of sporting bodies probably wish they had someone like this fighting for them.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 11:24am
              Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

              I’m not saying they haven’t been shafted, Of course they have. But do you honestly think playing Singapore and white-anting thew NRC is the way to go? Can you not see this is Twiggie throwing his weight around without much forethought for the national game?

          • September 14th 2017 @ 10:56am
            Perthstayer said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

            WA has put itself at the head of the table in terms of producing ideas for improving WA’s lot, which in turn can benefit the game nationally.

            These ideas are early stage. Twiggy will have nothing signed yet and next week the outlook could be different, but make no mistake, things will be different. After a 26-0 drubbing the nation should welcome and embrace change, but they must stay at the negotiating table, and thankfully for all of us Twiggy is ensuing this is the case. WA and the nation must both benefit, how much one benefits more than the other is in the balance.

            “But lo! Who is this upstart saying the scraps we throw them are not adequate. And where the devil did they get their own flour and butter to bake a bigger and better cake??. Check the cake for rat poison”.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 11:25am
              Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

              Good on you, mate. Go play Singapore or Hong Kong or anyone else in your time zone. But hands off the NRC !!

              • Roar Rookie

                September 14th 2017 @ 11:33am
                piru said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

                Twiggy will be major sponsor – you want to play in our NRC?

                Travel to Perth to bend the knee

              • September 14th 2017 @ 12:16pm
                Perthstayer said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                CP – check the team lists in 2 years.

                There is no problem that cannot be resolved by throwing enough money at it. There is one hand ready to feed a starving nation.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 1:23pm
                Ex force fan said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                In South Africa the two teams that joined the Pro 14 has also relegated the Currie Cup to a lower level competition. Yes there were also much resistance within South Africa when the Superugby and internationals stopped playing the Currie Cup. It is such a well established competition and an step in the development pathway. However it captured the interest of fans that wanted to see new players coming through the system and that got tired of the same teams playing each other in different competitions. The Currie Cup is still a well supported competition and the NRC can perform the same role.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm
              mtiger said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

              South Korea
              Hong Kong
              Malaysia plus Fiji
              Sri Lanka plus Tonga
              Singapore plus Samoa
              + marquee players from Australia/NZ in the mix.

              Why not?

              In 2020, if Sanzaar stays, continue and improve.

              If Sanzaar changes, then build 2 more teams from here for AUS tournament.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 7:47am
        Freddy from Bondi said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:47am | ! Report

        Agree totally Cynical!

        Where was Forrest 18 months ago? He shows up on the field, after Hodgson’s last game, stealing the spotlight, making it all about him, now ready to splash cash around.

        Now he wants to set up a comp to rival the ARU’s NRC, in a part of the world with limited rugby following, in a competition that would get ZERO support from the greater Australian public.

        This smacks of a rich man, with a damaged-ego with a very very limited understanding of Australian Rugby!

        • September 14th 2017 @ 9:15am
          rock86 said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

          The understanding that it’s all about NSW & QLD?

          And no I’m not a Force supporter but a QRU member, and Australian Rugby needs change from the typical self centred interest of QLD & NSW.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 9:26am
            Freddy from Bondi said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

            I agree WA rugby got shafted massivley here here…IMO cutting the force was a shocking call!

            But that doesn’t mean we blindly assume that anything Twiggy or RugbyWA does from here on, is in the best interest of rugby in Aus.

            He’s further diluting the talent pool, providing direct competition to the fledgling NRC (which I think has great potential..perhaps even to the point it could one day allow us to pull out of Super Rugby altogether), and is pushing into a market that the Australian public will not give a flying about!

            If it even gets off the ground, I give this comp a max 2 year lifespan, before Twiggy gets bored and flashes his cash onto another play thing…

            • September 14th 2017 @ 10:42am
              rock86 said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

              What’s in the best interest for Australian rugby is keeping WA strong and the junior program prospering and this forms part of it.

              The people who don’t like it are people on the East coast who thinks it is going to impact ‘their’ team but have a shortsighted view. WA have already been shafted and if they don’t have a local professional team (not a very semi-pro comp like the NRC) then their juniors don’t have a team to aspire to play for, rendering their pathway over there useless.

              This will also hopefully stem the flow to Europe with being able to pick up extra coin for local players.

              • Roar Guru

                September 14th 2017 @ 11:53am
                PeterK said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                quite correct

                even if it only lasts 2 years it will have served a purpose because then the new super rugby broadcast deal starts and that could mean the reinclusion of the force.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 11:56am
                Freddy from Bondi said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                Don’t get me wrong. The Western Force was the local preofessional team that WA kids needed. They should never have been cut.

                But mate, do you honestly believe this 6 team competition is going to provide a ‘local professional team that kids can aspire to’? There aren’t many professional players making a living and plying their trade in a 10 week end of season tournament.

                If they want to be professional footballers, surely the Perth Spirit in a growing, strong NRC comp is the obvious pathway now the Force are gone. Wouldn’t it be better if Twiggy helped resource/promote/improve this comp??

                Twiggy’s proposal is going to damage the NRC and dilute talent. There is no way it will stop players going to Europe.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 1:31pm
                Ex force fan said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

                This competition is essential for WA as it will attract and retain talent in WA’s club competition by giving preference for locally developed players to make a living from rugby without having to move to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and play in their competitions. Without a professional side, the Spirit will not last two years.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 12:31pm
              Perthstayer said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

              Freddy, I’m interested, what was the last venture Twiggy flashed his cash at? Other than his philanthropic past time and personal support (not Fortesecue’s) for indigenous communities.

              When people, often it seems from the east coast say he likes limelight or WA rugby is a play thing for him it says point blank they know nothing of the man, and by connection says they know nothing of what drives him.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 12:53pm
                Freddy from Bondi said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                I have no doubt his intentions are pure. And for a nice change here’s a bloke with the capital to do good in the world, actually putting his hand in his pocket and promoting change.

                However, the way he took the spotlight off Hodgson in his last game, putting himself front and centre in front of the media and crowd, and the subsquent promotion of himself as the saviour for WA rugby, makes me think this is all starting to go to his head.

                Even the way his charitable donations were announced made me think he has a taste for promoting his profile now… I just hope his ego isn’t driving decisions now which I dont think are part of the greater good!

            • September 14th 2017 @ 1:16pm
              Realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

              Next twiggy will be seeking interest for a North Korean team, now there’s a Trojan horse, they won’t need a travel sponsor, just move around via Rockets, this greater Asian thing has zero legs, Malaysia, Korea, China, please, if he thinks he’s gioing to take over soccer in those non rugby countries then those rocks he’s mining must be coming from his head.

              • Roar Rookie

                September 14th 2017 @ 1:28pm
                piru said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

                Oh look realist thinks everything is rubbish and won’t work


        • September 14th 2017 @ 9:42am
          andrewM said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          Hear we go again..Where was Twiggy?? In the stands watching the game, believing, like everyone else in WA, that the ARU had the best interests of the Force at heart, which we all know is a load of BS

          • Roar Pro

            September 14th 2017 @ 11:08am
            Crazy Horse said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            Exactly. Up there with the real fans, not hiding in a corporate box.

          • Roar Guru

            September 14th 2017 @ 11:42am
            Machooka said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

            I hear ya… andrewM 😉

            • September 14th 2017 @ 12:35pm
              Perthstayer said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

              Was even polite enough to have a quick chin wag with me and a few others as we left the game.

              I can hear cynics saying it’s for his own good. But why do they care?

          • September 14th 2017 @ 12:04pm
            Freddy from Bondi said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

            And again, just because he is passionate and seemingly has the best interest of WA rugby at heart, doesn’t mean his new proposal is the right way forward.

            My concern is that he has offered his financial support too late. And now he’s (I have no doubt unintentionally) trying to implement things which will be further detrimental to Aus Rugby.

            I’m seeing very few practical, rational arguments as to how this new proposal will benefit rugby in Australia (not just WA) as a whole.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 12:36pm
              Perthstayer said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

              Freddy – You do know WA is in Australia?

              • September 14th 2017 @ 12:55pm
                Freddy from Bondi said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

                I do. And I hope one man’s ego-driven obsession (however well intended) doesn’t ultimately cost the viability of an entire nations sporting code.

              • Roar Rookie

                September 14th 2017 @ 1:29pm
                piru said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

                That’s why they wanted Clyne to resign

            • September 16th 2017 @ 12:50am
              Eddard said | September 16th 2017 @ 12:50am | ! Report

              Freddy, what it’ll do is provide a supplementary income to the guys around the fringes of national selection who currently play Super Rugby plus NRC (or M10 Cup or Currie Cup). These guys don’t get top ups from the ARU, or small ones if they do, and thus can usually earn twice as much money in Europe. They get nothing or very little extra playing in the NRC.

              If all the SANZAAR unions were to get on board (by supporting the involvement of their players just beneath test level) it’d be a great vehicle for keeping more top players at home. And if they were all on board it wouldn’t hurt the national competitions too much as only maybe the top 10% of players currently playing the NRC/Currie Cup/M10 Cup would be involved.

              It’d also be a great competition for big name players at the end of their career from all over the world as if they just played in this competition it’d be like semi-retirement. A chance to earn decent coin for just 3 months or so of games with a massive off-season. Not every 33+ year old player wants to put themselves through 10 straight months of rugby each year in France or England.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 1:20pm
            Realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

            He’s ego driven totally, why did he make his speech to the players on the field on live tv in front of the crowd, he should have addressed them in the dressing room in private, but no, a few bottles of red and let me onto the park. Can’t wait for the next riveting weekly press conference.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 1:37pm
              Ex force fan said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              Ignorant comment. He asked to address the players before the game in the dressing room but the coached asked him to wait until after the game. When it became clear that the players will take hours to celebrate the win on the field with the fans, the captain and coach asked him to address the players on the field.
              If he was an egomaniac he would have done this over the PA systems in front of the crowd before or after the game.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 1:55pm
                Realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                Oh, then proceed to have daily comments and weekly press conferences, just get on with it and formalise it, he’s had months to work on a plan B in case appeals didn’t go his way. One would have thought he would have been able to roll out a well articulated structure so as to keep players and coaches on, the inevitable exodus of Force players and coaching staff will now begin in earnest over next week

              • Roar Rookie

                September 14th 2017 @ 2:27pm
                piru said | September 14th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

                How’s your comp coming along Realist?

              • September 14th 2017 @ 3:22pm
                Realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

                NRC off to a great start, fast, strong plenty of tries, and quite entertaining and relevant actually, glad you asked.

              • Roar Rookie

                September 14th 2017 @ 4:16pm
                piru said | September 14th 2017 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

                You created the NRC?


      • September 14th 2017 @ 8:04am
        rebel said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

        All of that would be true if he wasn’t in consultation with the ARU in regards to setting up the comp. Which is a welcome change.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 8:08am
          Train Without A Station said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

          Nah Bakkies and co said he’d refuse to work with the current ARU so that’s not possible!

          • September 14th 2017 @ 12:57pm
            Bakkies said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            Forrest said himself and I have repeated it hundred times over to you that he is happy to work with the ARU sans Chairman.

            • Roar Guru

              September 14th 2017 @ 1:17pm
              Train Without A Station said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report


              You’ve said it.

              Seems like he’s happy to work with the ARU with Clyne.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 5:24pm
                Bakkies said | September 14th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

                In the west of Footscary or in Rebels HQ did you bother to watch his press conference after the Supreme Court decision?

                He asked de Clyne to rightfully resign and de Clyne delivered a pathetic response full of lies.

                I am not going to have to repeat this to you for the one thousand and second time.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 9:16pm
                Train Without A Station said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

                Well either he said he’d never work with Clyne (which is not what you’ve said), or he’s gone back on his word.

                Which is it?

              • September 15th 2017 @ 12:48am
                Bakkies said | September 15th 2017 @ 12:48am | ! Report

                Sometimes you have to deal with the devil first before you screw him

                ‘which is not what you’ve said’

                I know you haven’t travelled and live in a bubble sans Chairman means without.


        • September 14th 2017 @ 11:26am
          Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          It’s not consultation. It’s Twiggie with his hand on their gonads.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 11:35am
            rebel said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

            Can’t compete with that thorough analysis by some one not involved in any of the meetings.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 1:08pm
              Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

              you’re right… let’s call it consultation. Twiggie the consulter. …grow up.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 4:04pm
                rebel said | September 14th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                By grow up, do you mean talk more about Gonads. Thanks for the sage advice.

      • Columnist

        September 14th 2017 @ 8:37am
        Brett McKay said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        This is part of what I don’t quite get, CP. I don’t believe Forrest wants to ‘blow the NRC down’ at all – his wanting to become naming rights sponsor of the NRC would seem to confirm his desire to keep that competition strong.

        But that then runs to my point, why overlap the IPRC at this time?

        • September 14th 2017 @ 8:48am
          Rhys Bosley said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

          “why overlap the IPRC at this time?”

          Because if he didn’t people would be writing articles about how he is standing on Super Rugby and the Shute Shield’s toes.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 11:28am
          Cynical Play said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

          He wants control. So Perth never get shafted again.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm
          Perthstayer said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

          Brett – You are correct, teh reasoning seems odd. BUT he has signed nothing. His concepts and timing may all be different next week.

          He is speaking to a multiple of different stakeholders. Rugby governing bodies, clubs, National unions, ARU, players and more. This issue has been running for all of 2 weeks.

          IMO being in touch with all stakeholders to seek the best outcome for WA and Australia rugby is a breath of fresh air. Everyone is talking about change and what might be the best pathways, whereas 6 months ago people were just moaning.

          People should not underestimate his preparedness to sit down with Clynne.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 12:59pm
            Bakkies said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

            Brett apart from sacking staff the ARU have not provided WA a way of maintaining a NRC team going forward without a fully pro side to feed in to.

        • September 15th 2017 @ 11:02am
          Dubaikiwi said | September 15th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

          I think the timing is to align with the Asian season. The Japan leagues start at the begining of August.
          Think about this, if the super rugby is gone after 2020 then the NRC could become the Australian major competition and start earlier in the year to finish before this new competition starts in August.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 8:42am
        Dave_S said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        Twiggy doesn’t look like a wrecker to me. If he was at odds with the ARU his talking and posture would be far more aggressive.

        I’m one of those still to understand or be convinced by his plans, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be harmful to the NRC or SR (or at least, not deliberately so).

        So, it’s a ‘good luck’ from me. Could be a new dawn for SH rugby.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 11:08am
        Go the Wannabe's said | September 14th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        Twiggy didn’t come in earlier because he was waiting to see which way the omission of a Super Rugby team played out…..if it was the Rebels, he may not have done anything.

        Plus he would have been doing due diligence on all of his options. All good business processes, there’s nothing worse than going off early and being wrong.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 12:33pm
        Realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        It’s fanciful for Twiggy to suggest the new comp will bring home over 100 players currently playing overseas, what the Western Force (the only Australian team in the new comp) is going to sign them all?? Ridiculous claim, quite possibly a lot of these players will join some of the Asian teams, but that’s not bringing them home. This sounds like it’s being made up on the run and will just fade away.

        • September 14th 2017 @ 1:44pm
          Ex force fan said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

          The players will not all play for the Force there will be marquee players in the other sides as well (as with the IPL). This will allow a more competitive competition.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 2:03pm
            Realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

            There is basically no player payments in NRC, why would Aussie players leave Europe etc and real decent wages to come back. Unless Twiggy is going to fund the NRC teams, that’s what he should be doing not wasting money on Thailand Korea etc, if his interests are totally authentic to grow and support Aus rugby then bolster the NRC and the Force play there for the time being, they may get back in if another team folds or SANZAR redesign the comp in a few years, then they ready to pounce.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 2:38pm
              mtiger said | September 14th 2017 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

              I do not think that Thailand was mentioned. And I am pretty sure Twiggy was not going to dole it out to Hong Kong or Malaysia or Singapore. Each pretty much has money, and all is needed – compelling propositions for sponsors to come for this purpose.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 3:30pm
                Realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

                Of course he should not dole it out to international sides, but as was my point should pay to strengthen the NRC which is real, up and running and can develop over time, the money he puts provides an instant benefit for the comp and for the Force to compete in. It’s all there up and runnning now, don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 3:34pm
                mtiger said | September 14th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

                You are quite aware that Perth Spirit is not planned to be linked to any Super Rugby support structure. The reader’s assumption will then be for its death too.

                So, Perth has neither Super nor NRC. So how is that benefitting WA Rugby at all, given that he is jumping in to support WA Rugby.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 10:50pm
                Ex force fan said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

                mtiger spot-on.

                Realist cannot see,the reality that rugby in WA is dead without a professional side. Twiggy will step on toes it is either the Superugby or NRC that will be impacted but the upside for WA and Australian rugby is huge. However NSW will loose some control a this is much needed

      • September 14th 2017 @ 10:08pm
        Fair Weather said | September 14th 2017 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

        Too right.

        Gotta love Twiggy, he makes out how he is the man for the people but sure hates paying his taxes and he gets his Liberal party mates to stop the minerals taxes but then the same party screams about lack of tax money from gst. Utterly unbelievable we let characters like this get away with what they do.

        Never forget Twiggy and other miners like him don’t make a damn thing. All they do is dig it out of the ground. No brains required.

        This third rate Asia comp won’t work.

    • Roar Rookie

      September 14th 2017 @ 7:26am
      Oscar Redding said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      With Super Rugby looking a bit sick, crippled and overweight, like a battery hen that was left in its cage way to long. There may not be much worth carving out of it if it dies. I’d just like to see the ARU hand the NRC to Twiggy, let him expand it out a little with his Indo-Pacific idea, keeping the round robin format, well managed, it could be centre stage for rugby in this country.

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