Global Rapid Rugby’s inaugural home-and-away season will feature six teams, 10 rounds, 31 games including a one-off Final and a $AU 1 Million total prize pool.
Five of the teams that will fight for the Global Rapid Rugby Season 1 title in 2020 were unveiled today and represent the traditional powers of Australasia, the untapped potential of Asia and the passion and pride of the Pacific Islands.
Fast-paced and explosive by name and nature, the competition will begin on Friday, March 13 and reach a crescendo when the top two teams go head-to-head in the Grand Final in Perth, Australia, on June 5 or 6.
Western Force was Global Rapid Rugby’s premier Showcase Series team and won Australia’s National Rugby Championship earlier this month
Fijian Latui will take its amazing mix of flair and strength to all parts of the rugby-mad island nation, and be just as tough to beat on foreign shores
Manuma Samoa is an exciting, home-grown squad capable of anything, particularly on a redeveloped home stadium in Apia
South China Tigers from Hong Kong is sure to build on this year’s Global Rapid Rugby Asian Showcase and reach their powerful potential in 2020
Malaysia Valke, based in Kuala Lumpur, comprises some of both South Africa’s and Malaysia’s best domestic talent and a strong hunger to succeed
Negotiations are nearing completion with a sixth team to be based in Asia
Unveiling the format for Season 1, Global Rapid Rugby CEO, Mark Evans, described the combination of teams as a perfect blend for a competition designed to expand rugby’s appeal to new and old fans alike.
“We are thrilled to be able to inject the excitement and energy of Rapid Rugby’s first home-and-away competition into these territories within the Asia Pacific region in 2020,” Evans said.
“The evolution from a Showcase Series to a Home-And-Away Season will multiply the success we enjoyed this year in many ways.
“In particular, providing Fiji and Samoa with access to a full-scale, international competition is an enormous result for the sport worldwide.”
Three games each round will be staged across Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Final date, time and venue details are yet to be finalised, however a round-by-round draw released today includes a number of marquee matches.
South China Tigers v Manuma Samoa in Hong Kong. Rd 1
Fijian Latui v Western Force in Fiji. Rd 3
Fijian Latui v Manuma Samoa. Rds 5+10
Malaysia Valke v South China Tigers. Rd 10
“Season 1 is definitely fast by name and nature. A 10-round competition to decide the grand finalists will mean every match is critical,” Evans said.
“We have worked hard to ensure all teams’ travel times and days away from home are similar and I know all the teams and unions involved share our expectation around how even the competition will be.
“We hope all fans of elite sport get behind their teams and ensure loud and proud crowds provide a real home ground advantage.
“The ‘always entertaining’ Rapid Rugby philosophy is one of the things that sets us apart and I promise we will provide a fun, family-friendly atmosphere at all games in all venues throughout the season.”
The brainchild of Australian businessman and internationally renowned philanthropist Andrew Forrest AO, Global Rapid Rugby began as a Perth based exhibition series in 2018 after Australia’s Western Force was removed from the international Super Rugby competition. It grew into a 2019 Showcase Series across seven Asia Pacific territories, featuring 70-minute matches, revolutionary new rules and an emphasis on off-field entertainment for fans.