Global Rapid Rugby today announced a March 14 Opening Round spectacular in Perth, Australia, amongst an amended schedule for the Asia Pacific competition’s inaugural home-and-away season.
“We are ready and can’t wait to launch our competition,” Global Rapid Rugby CEO, Mark Evans, said.
“The situation in China and its effects elsewhere have meant the schedule has been amended a little but, I’m proud to say, there is not one hurdle we have not been able to overcome. The health and welfare of the players, the coaches and our fans has been our number one concern and we have followed the advice of all relevant authorities, including the World Health Organisation, every step of the way.”
The major alteration to the schedule surrounds home games for the China Lions, a team jointly supported by the China Rugby Football Association and New Zealand domestic powerhouse Bay of Plenty that was drawn to play three home games in Shanghai and two in Rotorua.
Restrictions on sporting teams entering China means that games can no longer be played in Shanghai. The Lions will now play three home games in New Zealand and Rapid Rugby is working closely with Rugby Australia to provide a venue for two games in Australia.
The inaugural Global Rapid Rugby home-and-away season will begin on March 14 with Fijian Latui hosting the China Lions under lights in Suva, followed by a Double Header at HBF Park in Perth. Manuma Samoa will play Hong Kong’s South China Tigers, followed by the home town Western Force against Malaysia Valke, in a double dose of the action and entertainment that Rapid Rugby has to offer.
“It’s exciting to think that within six hours, six teams representing the rich tradition of Australia and New Zealand, the exciting potential of Asia, and the raw talent of the Pacific Islands will be on show and growing the game of rugby,” Evans said.
“It is all systems go for Global Rapid Rugby in 2020.”