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Twiggy Forrest launches Indo Pacific Rugby competition

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Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has launched the new Indo Pacific Rugby Championship to kick off next year.

Forrest is in negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to ensure players who compete in his competition will also be eligible to play Super Rugby and represent the Wallabies.

The billionaire's actions come after his beloved Western Force were cut from Super Rugby.

Forrest hopes to have six teams in the competition, which is expected to start early next August.

He said it would be in the ARU's best interests to allow Wallabies players to feature in the new competition as well as Super Rugby.

Late last month, Forrest called on Cameron Clyne to resign over the ARU chairman's decision to axe the Force.

But the pair had since made up, and Forrest said his discussions with the ARU about the new Indo Pacific competition had been positive.

"There's been a fair bit of water under the bridge with Cameron and I," Forrest said.

"We had a frank and friendly discussion when he was here recently.

"We were cast as adversaries. We did not agree with the cancelling of this magnificent team (Western Force).

"In that adversarial form, we did have to go a little toe to toe.

"But now with the Western Force becoming an international team ... there should be nothing but collaboration on behalf of Australian rugby."

The ARU confirmed it was in discussions with Forrest and his Minderoo team.

"ARU is involved in collaborative discussions with Andrew Forrest and his Minderoo team and we look forward to continuing these discussions over the coming weeks," Clyne said on Wednesday in a statement.

"We do not wish to comment on the specifics of any proposed new competitions while these discussions are at a preliminary stage.

"ARU remains committed to maintaining a strong rugby presence in Western Australia and will explore all options in this regard."

How Andrew Forrest's Indo Pacific Rugby Championship will work:
- The inaugural season is set to feature six teams, starting in August 2018.
- The regular season will run for 10 rounds between August and October, with the top four teams reaching the finals.
- Areas that have expressed interest in entering a team include Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Samoa, Fiji, South Korea, Malaysia.
- If the ARU endorses the competition, players who sign for the IPRC will remain eligible to play for the Wallabies. If a player is chosen for Wallabies duties, the IPRC team will release that player for however long is needed.
- Forrest has promised to sponsor the National Rugby Championship if the ARU approve his new competition.
- The National Rugby Championship will run at a similar time to the IPRC.
- The IPRC also wants to work with the ARU High Performance team to improve talent identification, as well as athlete and coach development pathways.
- Forrest hopes this new competition will bolster Australia's chances of winning the 2019 World Cup in Tokyo.
- The IPRC hierarchy have already started talks with various broadcasters around the world. There's a strong chance this competition will be seen on free-to-air television in Australia.
- The IPRC is yet to be ticked off by World Rugby.
- Teams will be able to recruit their own high-profile players. There will also be a centralised player pool to ensure weaker rugby areas will be bolstered.
- The IPRC could feature rule changes such as increasing the number of points for a try, and any other changes that will encourage more of a running game.
- Things like music and other entertainment will also be incorporated to make it more of a spectacle.