Twiggy: I’ll launch my comp with or without RA approval


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    Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest insists he will go ahead with his Indo Pacific Rugby Championship even if Rugby Australia don’t approve it.

    Forrest has been locked in negotiations with RA for months now, with the major sticking point being around whether players who feature in the IPRC will also be eligible for Wallabies selection.

    Forrest has declared his six-team IPRC competition will go ahead one way or the other, with the start date still slated for 2019.

    “We’ll either get Rugby Australia’s approval, or we won’t. But either way we’re going to roll, and we’ll be playing internationally,” Forrest said.

    “This is a tournament that is waiting to happen, and will be fantastic for Australia.

    “We’ve had something like 250 enquiries from elite players around the world.

    “We’ve had endorsement from Rugby Asia. We know that World Rugby is completely on side.

    “I think we get closer every day (with getting Rugby Australia’s tick).

    “I think if you have a legitimate love for the game and a legitimate interest in what’s best for the players, you’ll back the new tournament.”

    Forrest’s deep pockets could become RA’s way out of its current financial mess.

    And the mining magnate showed he is more than just talk by launching a new junior rugby development program in WA on Wednesday.

    The program – dubbed the RugbyRoos – will foster future rugby talent by providing fun clinics for kids aged between four and 12 to learn the core skills of the game.

    As part of the new program, all future elite rugby players contracted to play in WA will devote 350 hours of their personal time each year to community programs like RugbyRoos.

    Forrest wants to eventually expand the RugbyRoos all over Australia to help strengthen the game.

    “Rugby starts at the grass roots, and finishes with elite. Not the other way around,” Forrest said.

    “Rugby has been struggling a bit in the eastern states at a community level. The RugbyRoos is a great way to build the community spirit through rugby in the eastern states.

    “RugbyRoos is a long-term vision.”

    Forrest has already resurrected the Future Force Foundation, and he’s committed funds to women’s rugby as well.

    New Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle says the door is open for the Western Force to return to Super Rugby in 2021 after the current broadcast deal expires.

    But Forrest wants to see the Force back in action before then in his IPRC competition.

    Force players Marcel Brache and Peter Grant have reportedly signed with RugbyWA to lead the side in the National Rugby Championship.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (90)

    • February 8th 2018 @ 2:45am
      MH01 said | February 8th 2018 @ 2:45am | ! Report

      He could help rugby in oz by paying out Cheikas contract…….. or agreeing to a selection panel .

      • February 8th 2018 @ 9:45am
        Rhys Bosley said | February 8th 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        Good on ya Twiggy.

        As usual though RA are narrow minded about this though. Which region do they think they are going to have to tap into, if South Africa take their teams and TV audiences north at the end of the current SR broadcast deal? Asia of course and the IPRC could give them a head start to grow into the region, but they are typically just seeing a threat than an opportunity.

        • February 8th 2018 @ 10:27am
          Boris said | February 8th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          Good point Rhys

    • Roar Guru

      February 8th 2018 @ 6:06am
      Machpants said | February 8th 2018 @ 6:06am | ! Report

      So RA doesn’t want the players to be wallabies available, so as not to dilute super rugby? All the articles I read say wallabies availability is a big sticking point but fail to mention who wants what!

      • February 8th 2018 @ 8:14am
        Boris said | February 8th 2018 @ 8:14am | ! Report

        I’d say it’s pretty clear who wants what. RA are hesitant to approve Wallabies eligibility because it would potentially dilute the talent in our 4 super rugby teams and Twiggy wants Wallabies eligibility so he can attract more quality Australian players and ensure a higher standard of competition.

      • February 9th 2018 @ 7:55am
        Ex force fan said | February 9th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

        I understand the ARU/RA’s revised position is that players playing for the Force in the IPRC and players that played more than 60 tests in other IPRC teams will be considerred for Wallaby selection. Twiggy wants all Australian players that play in the IPRC to be eligable for Wallaby selection. This means that the Asian treams will be reinforced with non-Australian players e.g Dan Carter or Bismarck du Plessis’s of the world but that only a few Australian players e.g. Gits can be used.

        A sensible compromise would be to lower the treshold from 60 to say 20-30 tests that will provide the IPRC with the opportunity to attract players like Fardy, Cooper and O’Conner to the IPRC. It would also put the IPRC on a better commercial footing but increase the probability that current Wallabies will join the competition. Extending the Rugbyroos program to the rest of Australia will be the bargaining chip to reduce this number. I.

    • February 8th 2018 @ 6:14am
      tc said | February 8th 2018 @ 6:14am | ! Report

      Go Twiggy, take pro rugby into mainland Asia.

    • February 8th 2018 @ 8:49am
      Jeff dustby said | February 8th 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      Lucky he’s worth billions because he will lose hundreds of millions

      • February 8th 2018 @ 9:00am
        tc said | February 8th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        Ah dustbin, don’t you wish it was league Twiggy supported, then we could all be assured he would lose hundreds of millions taking ‘rugby light’ into Asia.

      • February 8th 2018 @ 10:32am
        chappy said | February 8th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Taking Rugby to Asia is going to be the biggest disaster for Twiggy!

        He will do what all billionaires do with football teams in Australia.
        After he bleeds money for the first year or two he will pull out.

        Clive Palmer
        Nathan Tinkler
        Harold Mitchell.

        • Roar Rookie

          February 8th 2018 @ 11:42am
          piru said | February 8th 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          book marking this article to allow me to come back and laugh at you

          • February 8th 2018 @ 12:30pm
            chappy said | February 8th 2018 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

            Yes, we will all be laughing at what a joke this will become.

            • Roar Rookie

              February 8th 2018 @ 12:39pm
              piru said | February 8th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              ooh sick burn

              • February 8th 2018 @ 12:43pm
                chappy said | February 8th 2018 @ 12:43pm | ! Report


              • February 9th 2018 @ 8:33am
                Fionn said | February 9th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report


          • February 9th 2018 @ 10:25am
            Realist said | February 9th 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

            Rd 1. WA vs Thailand
            Rd 2. WA vs Christmas Island (away)

            Piru, when are you going to see this comp for what it is ???

            It’s the equivalent of pumping more money into Yahoo! when the brand and product (WA Rugby) are obsolete and irrelevant.

            Why not adopt the Rebels as your new team as an act of defiance towards the ARU? Hell why not buy a season membership and jersey while you’re at it – “Take that Clyne !”

            • February 9th 2018 @ 11:57am
              Bakkies said | February 9th 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              Réal…t unlike the Rabble who have bled the game and its grassroots dry, the money is at least coming from Twiggy, foreign governments and other investors.

            • Roar Rookie

              February 9th 2018 @ 1:01pm
              piru said | February 9th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              Can’t keep track of all your monikers Realist – jog on mate

        • February 9th 2018 @ 10:49am
          Muzzo said | February 9th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

          Clive Palmer??? FFS, he couldn’t run a chook raffle on pay night. As for the other two, well I don’t know who Mitchell, is, or was, but Tinkler?? FFS, he was just that, only a tinkler.

          • Roar Guru

            February 9th 2018 @ 10:53am
            Train Without A Station said | February 9th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            I think the point was that nobody said that at the time…

            • February 10th 2018 @ 9:06am
              Muzzo said | February 10th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

              Well I said it now!!

              • February 10th 2018 @ 10:42am
                Train Without A Station said | February 10th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                Well aren’t you just a genius with the benefit of hindsight…

            • February 11th 2018 @ 9:46am
              Muzzo said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

              Keep your snide remarks to yourself sport!! It’s not warranted

              • Roar Guru

                February 11th 2018 @ 6:24pm
                Train Without A Station said | February 11th 2018 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

                Either you missed the point of the comment, or it is warranted

        • Roar Guru

          February 9th 2018 @ 1:00pm
          rebel said | February 9th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

          Frank Lowey
          Nick Politis

          • Roar Guru

            February 9th 2018 @ 1:02pm
            Train Without A Station said | February 9th 2018 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

            Politis doesn’t own the Roosters. He’s chairman of the board. They are not privately owned.

      • February 8th 2018 @ 9:39pm
        AndyS said | February 8th 2018 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

        He’ll spend hundreds of millions on rugby? What a villain!!!

        • February 9th 2018 @ 10:45am
          Realist said | February 9th 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          That’s hundreds of millions on ‘WA Rugby’.

          As sane an idea as buying every homeless tramp a mansion

          • February 9th 2018 @ 1:52pm
            AndyS said | February 9th 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

            Actually, probably hundreds of millions on Asian rugby. Good for them, less good for Australia, but that is the situation created. But not a bad analogy otherwise…so maybe a bungalow for WA, but a big improvement for someone on the street after being the victim of predatory lending and evicted from their home.

        • Roar Guru

          February 9th 2018 @ 10:54am
          Train Without A Station said | February 9th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

          Is he actually happy to lose hundreds of millions on this though?

          • February 9th 2018 @ 1:45pm
            AndyS said | February 9th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

            Would rugby care? If the government came along and was offering rugby hundreds of millions, would anyone within rugby be holding up their hands and suggesting they shouldn’t as it might not make them happy? Take the money and make the most of it while it is there…

            • Roar Guru

              February 9th 2018 @ 1:56pm
              Train Without A Station said | February 9th 2018 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

              Who’s saying rugby would care?

              What I am saying is you can talk about all his money all you want, unless he’s willing to lose that money on this venture, so therefore willing to invest that money, then it’s not much good to anybody.

            • Roar Guru

              February 9th 2018 @ 2:04pm
              Train Without A Station said | February 9th 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

              I don’t care if Twiggy dumps every cent he has into money and loses it.

              It won’t hurt me one bit.

              But if you are trying to justify that something will be successful, you’re gonna need better reasoning than “because Twiggy has lots of money”.

              • February 9th 2018 @ 4:56pm
                AndyS said | February 9th 2018 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

                Not trying to justify anything. I was responding to Chappy statement that if he does it, he’ll drop a load of cash and then pull out. My point is that is not our problem, or any reason why he should be stopped from doing so, and certainly not a reason why rugby should refuse to take the money.

            • Roar Rookie

              February 9th 2018 @ 2:13pm
              piru said | February 9th 2018 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

              I don’t think anyone would be happy to lose hundreds of millions, but I doubt Twiggy is going into this with his eyes closed.

              • February 9th 2018 @ 10:38pm
                Train Without A Station said | February 9th 2018 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

                As do I.

                Which is why I think the extent of his wealth isn’t relevant.

                What is relevant is what amount of that wealth he’s willing to risk.

          • February 11th 2018 @ 9:11pm
            ScottD said | February 11th 2018 @ 9:11pm | ! Report

            Well he gave away $400 m last year so I don’t doubt he is. However it won’t cost him that much as he’ll be able to sell the media rights and the clubs will get their own sponsorship. Maybe $5-8m per team (they will need to each raise $1-3m themselves in sponsorship on top) from him less media rights. He might get away with a loss diffecompetitiona total $30-50m over 4 years. Remember it is only a 6 team competition vs SR 18 (now 15) teams. Most Aussie SR teams have a budget of about $14-15m per annum so easy to imagine needing about 50% of that for this competition with its lesser travel.
            If he is successful he will be the hero of WA and of Australian and World Rugby in a world cup year. That is a pretty powerful driver for his ego and $50m in petty cash to achieve it is drop in the ocean for him at a little over 1% of his personal wealth.

            • Roar Guru

              February 12th 2018 @ 2:05pm
              Train Without A Station said | February 12th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

              If he has already donated a huge chunk of his wealth then doesn’t that seem possible it may reduce the amount he has left and is willing to give away?

              Aussie SR teams have budgets of that. None of that is travel costs. These are covered by the ARU and SANZAAR.

              So it won’t cost 50% of that. In order to pay players more it will cost more also.

              He will be able to sell media rights and sponsorship absolutely. But I don’t see these being equal to Super Rugby for at least a decade if ever.

              There is a way it won’t cost that much yes. But that doesn’t correlate with the claims of what this will be.

              • February 12th 2018 @ 11:13pm
                scottd said | February 12th 2018 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

                1. His “wealth” went up by $1Bn last year so I don’t think it is relevant mate. He has also signed on with Bill Gates & others to gift the majority of his (their) fortunes away before they die.

                2. At an annualised 5-6% return he is making $250-300m per annum so losing $50m or even $100m over 3 years on a cause he is passionate about isn’t going to move him one bit from his chosen course of action.

                3. You could triple the losses I calculated and it would still be half the “hundreds of millions” you referred to that I was responding to.

    • February 8th 2018 @ 9:07am
      Tim Rogers said | February 8th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

      I like the idea of rugbyroos!! Hopefully it will expand into clinics, teacher training, and school competitions in both the public and private system. Rugby needs to be in the face of the youth more.

    • February 8th 2018 @ 9:09am
      sheek said | February 8th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      Good! Go Twiggy…..

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