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Twiggy’s new rugby comp hits RA roadblock



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    Andrew Forrest’s hopes of launching the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship in 2019 have hit a roadblock, with Rugby Australia still refusing to give the competition its permanent endorsement.

    Forrest’s team, which includes former Western Force skipper Matt Hodgson, has been in negotiations with the governing body for months.

    The IPRC needs to be endorsed by RA before it can be approved by World Rugby.

    The six-team competition hopes to attract some of the world’s best players, including a host of Australians plying their trade overseas, but they would only then be able to play for the Wallabies again in the event of RA’s full endorsement.

    However, given the IPRC will run at the same time as Super Rugby, RA has demanded more control over the new competition and is apparently only willing to offer temporary endorsement.

    That’s a situation Forrest’s team simply can’t accept given the amount of money they are prepared to pump in.

    A Rugby Community event in Perth was planned for December 10 with certain announcements expected but has been postponed because of the breakdown in negotiations.

    Forrest’s team will meet with RA’s working party in Sydney next week hoping for some sort of agreement.

    “We were disappointed with the terms they presented to us,” Hodgson said.

    “It just wasn’t commercially viable.

    “They definitely want a lot of control. There are some things that are big stumbling blocks for us, especially around the terms and the length of temporary endorsement.

    “We’re looking to go back to them and talk through our thoughts and hopefully we can change this to a permanent endorsement. That’s probably a non negotiable for us.”

    RA has copped widespread criticism for axing Western Force from Super Rugby.

    A subsequent Senate inquiry revealed some potentially dodgy dealings by RA in helping Melbourne Rebels find a way to avoid the chop.

    WA Liberal Linda Reynolds has called on corporate watchdog ASIC to investigate the scenario.

    Earlier this week, Hodgson wrote a Facebook post criticising RA for its demands regarding the IPRC.

    “It remains obvious to us after three months of continuous negotiations that Rugby Australia doesn’t have the best interest of the Western Australian rugby community at heart,” he said.

    “Rugby Australia’s demands include money to support East coast based programs rather than supporting the WA community, even as they are crippling our local rugby infrastructure.

    “We will not be sending any more money over east, our money will remain for our people and to grow our game in Western Australia.

    “The current Rugby Australia position is so uncommercial and unreasonable that it ensures the failure of the IPRC before it even starts.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (66)

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:30am
      rugger said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      RA or ARU does not have good record of doing anything.

      Super Rugby is now not-so-super
      National Rugby championship – we have had few goes and current version is still not marketed properly

      We have Olympic champion women’s 7s team and yet AFLW and NRLW are all forgoing ahead with competitions of their own, what have the custodians of the game come up with.

      T20 cricket have come up with BBL and BBLW what have the experts at RA come up with?

      Only thing they have come up with is killing Force and now hell-bent on driving Twiggy and his team away.

      IRB 7s series is IP of world Rugby so RA have got nothing and yet have brilliant product.

      Where is local series and SANZAAR series or can RA and NZR not come up with something that does not involve Wallabies and All Blacks? Talk about saturating the market. If it was left to these two we will have wall-to-wall test involving Wallabies and All Blacks.

      IPRC is good for Australian Rugby as Europe and Japan will decimate 4 professional teams of players and once they are gone fans will go as well.

      Do the right thing RA and get rid of Pulver and Clyne now and endorse IPRC.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 7:54am
        PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        There is a national women’s 7’s comp that ran for the first time this year. They have grown the womens participation a lot.

        This is probably the one area they are succeeding in.

        NRL and AFL are the traditional versions.

        Clyne once again is indulging in power games and ego saving. Holding back on IPRC seems to be more vindictive action in reprisals for the senate committee findings. No way does he want IPRC to succeed, it would show him up too much.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 12:30pm
          AndyS said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

          Yes, that is a weird beast on the face of it…includes SA and Tasmania, but not Vic and WA. Thought they would have at least made an effort to include WA, if only to make all their assurances of ongoing committment and support look a bit less like a steaming heap of platitudes.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 1:11pm
            PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

            It was University based, so perhaps no Vic or WA Uni’s wanted to fund a Womens Sevens team.

            • Roar Rookie

              December 8th 2017 @ 1:28pm
              piru said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

              Possibly so. WA has the biggest women’s comp in the country, but I don’t know that 7s is all that popular here.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 1:21pm
          simmo said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

          Womens rugby needs to go professional, yes they have brought it along but its obvious our players will defect to be paid, I know of several that have said they will go. Rugby cant play the long game.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 5:09pm
            Working Class Rugger said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

            Well, that’s part of the IPRC plan. Professional women’s 15s and 7s.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 8:05am
      Jock Cornet said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      Why isn’t the ARU doing anything. SR is almost finished.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 8:41am
      Tim Rogers said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Clyne must go! He is Australian rugby’s Trex destructive and vicious proving the link to the chaos theory in regards to aussie rugby all round. He must be ousted.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 9:30am
      Train Without A Station said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      Why is it unreasonable?

      I’m not saying it is reasonable at all.

      I’m saying nothing has been said about what’s actually been asked for. Only the opinion of a side whose interest is generating public support for theirselves.

      Likewise if the ARU said the IPRC’s requirements we’re unreasonable, we’d rightly expect them to justify why, so should the IPRC.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 10:09am
        PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

        A temporary endorsement is unreasonable.

        Requesting funding go back to RA for them to use in Eastern states is unreasonable. All money generated initially should go to WA rugby after what was done to them. After all RA has done nothing to help get the IPRC going, provided nothing and is using it’s position of approval to extort money.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:39am
          Train Without A Station said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          What funding have they requested?

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 12:33pm
            PeterK said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

            in the article

            “Rugby Australia’s demands include money to support East coast based programs rather than supporting the WA community, even as they are crippling our local rugby infrastructure.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 4:10pm
          Ex force fan said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

          Spot-on Peter based on the facts available it appears that the ARU/RA instead of helping to fund the competition and getting it up is trying to find ways to can the competition and/or alternatively get their hands in Twiggy’s pockets by withholding approval for a competition that would benefit not only WA but also the Asian region. World Rugby needs to step in as they provided the RA/ARU with some form of “veto” that they clearly does not deserve.

      • Roar Guru

        December 11th 2017 @ 2:43pm
        Timbo (L) said | December 11th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

        The IRB have Green lit and are even actively encouraging the competition to break into the market. But have left the details with the ARU.

        Why should the ARU be a stakeholder in this business at all?

        Are they worried that The players returning from overseas will get Wallabies spots ahead of their SR darlings?

        Are they worried that people will dump their Fox subscriptions, electing to watch the other comp.

        It is implied through ARU actions that there is no-one in WA watching or playing Rugby anyway, so it should have little or no impact.

        Roger Daltry speaking Pete Townsend’s words: WTF,RU?

        Petty extortion.

    • Roar Pro

      December 8th 2017 @ 9:31am
      robel said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      ARU or RAu, different name same modus operandi, wreck WA rugby.

      Shameless behaviour by the alleged guardians of the game.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 9:32am
      Will said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      This was always going to happen.

      Time for a rebel comp, Twiggy. Go head to head with ARU and push them out of business.
      They will find out very quickly how much support they have with the public.