The China Lions have been confirmed as the sixth and final team for Andrew Forrest’s inaugural Global Rapid Rugby competition.
The Lions will join the Western Force, the Malaysia Valke, Fijian Latui, Manuma Samoa, and the Hong Kong-based South China Tigers for the inaugural season.
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Teams will fight it out for a $1 million prize pool, with the season comprising 30 games over 10 rounds and a one-off grand final.
The inaugural season of Global Rapid Rugby will kick off on March 13, with the grand final in Perth on June 6.
Global Rapid Rugby say they will monitor and follow the advice of relevant health authorities about the coronavirus and immediately communicate any relevant information to stakeholders.
“Our expansion into China is an important development for the competition,” Global Rapid Rugby chief executive Mark Evans said.
Some of rugby's leading tier two nations could have a competitive global tournament to partake in by next year.https://t.co/kATR175h93
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 31, 2020
“We believe that rugby has the potential to become an extremely popular and successful sport throughout the country.
“Rugby is a game with broad appeal. Add the on-going energy, entertainment and family fun created by Rapid Rugby and I am confident crowds in Shanghai will love supporting their home team, the Lions.”
Global Rapid Rugby was created by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest following the controversial axing of the Western Force from Super Rugby.
It began as a Perth-based Exhibition Series in 2018 before developing into a 2019 Showcase Series across seven Asia Pacific territories.
This year is the first season that it is a fully fledged competition.
Rule tweaks have been included to encourage a more attractive brand of rugby and a higher emphasis on scoring tries.
Global Rapid Rugby at a glance:
– Six teams, 30 games
– March 13-June 5
– 35 minute halves
– Tries started from within a team’s 22m are worth nine points with no conversion needed
– Any kick that goes over the sideline on the full will be turned over to the opposition at the point of where the kick was taken from, including in the 22m
– The 10/22 rule; A kick from between your own 10m and try line that bounces out of play inside the opponent’s 22m gives you possession
– Rolling substitutions
– Win by three or more tries: One bonus point, Score four or more tries in a game: One bonus point, Lose by five points or less: One bonus point
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