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Tycoon plans rebel rugby league

This file photo shows mining billionaire Andrew « Twiggy » Forrest.

Australian mining magnate Andrew « Twiggy » Forrest on Tuesday announced plans to put together a rebel Indo-Pacific rugby competition after the Western Force lost a legal appeal against their axing from Super Rugby.

Forrest did not say which clubs he was targeting for his rebel league, but said he would encourage South Africa and other teams to « come across » from Sanzaar.

Forrest, a billionaire backer of the club’s parent body RugbyWA, said six teams would initially be involved, including the Western Force, with the league starting « as soon as possible ».

« It will involve key countries across the Indo-Pacific region who have approached us or who have publicly stated their deep conviction to rugby if they could be included in an Indo-Pacific arena, » he said in Perth.

« We will include strong and deeply powerful players, broadcasters and fans of rugby all across the Indo-Pacific region where some 60% of the world’s people live on our time-frame right here in Western Australia. »

Forrest, founder and chairman of Fortescue Metals, said he planned to kick off the competition with an international game.

« You may be assured I don’t let the grass grow under my feet. It will be as soon as possible and certainly much faster, I think, than the ARU could ever organise. » 

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