Apparently, the recently axed Western Force of the Super Rugby League is harder to kill than Jon Snow.
A wealthy sports fan, billionaire Andrew Forrest, has decided to keep the Force with him by staging seven invitational matches that he intends to call World Series Rugby.
Most of the Force’s former players have found other jobs, so it will be a different squad, although it is hard to say there would be either drop-off or improvement in performance.
Forrest certainly has the resources to make it all happen. He is the former CEO of Fortescue Metals Group, he is also tied to other interests in the mining industry, and he has a hand in the beef industry.
“Twiggy,” as he is known, can definitely see himself, despite being surrounded by trees.
The World Series Rugby competition would be held in Perth at nib Stadium and would feature the new look Force playing matches against teams from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Hong Kong. Forrest also hopes to secure matches against the Rebels and Crusaders after the Super Rugby fixture concludes.
Quoted by the AAP, Forrest said, “The focus for 2018 is to reintroduce and reinforce professional rugby in Western Australia for the benefits of our grassroots community, our players and our fans. In 2019, the WSR will evolve into a high calibre, international competition with the goal of making rugby the community building sport of Asia.”
Forrest wants to introduce some bizarre variations, such as making a try worth 10 points and a limitation on the time frame for the forming of scrums and lineouts. In short, Forrest wants to bring rugby into the short-format era and make the game faster and more exciting.
Forrest has enlisted the services of former Wallabies great Michael Lynagh as an adviser.
Since establishing an audience would be critical to getting the new league off the mark, games would be televised on free to air television.