Innovation is in our DNA. Our vision is to enhance the wonderful sport of rugby union and provide the Asia Pacific region with a new and dynamic sports-entertainment experience.
Allowing us to deliver more rugby for the fans, and more rugby for the players, Rapid Rugby will incorporate innovative new laws and competition rules designed to increase ball-in-play time and reward attacking, free scoring play.
Like all sports, rugby needs to evolve. In today’s world we’re spoilt for choice, with easily digestible, fast paced action in high demand. We believe our unique combination of rugby and entertainment is a perfect avenue to deliver this content. And while we will honour the traditions of the game, we make no apologies for wanting to be different – check out below how we’ll be forging a new path.
Who doesn’t love seeing the scoreboard tick over? Well, there’s no better way to bank points for your side than with a Power Try. Going the length of the field to score are memories that are etched in supporters’ minds and we’re encouraging more of those moments in every game.
Any try-scoring play that begins inside a team’s defensive 22 will see 9 points added without the need for a conversion. A runaway break is brilliant, but teams with the skill to keep possession and make their way down the field and dot down over the try line will also be rewarded. And if a defensive side contemplates a deliberate penalty to break up the attack they’ll need to think again, the Power Try stays alive!
We’re encouraging the quick counter attack to be a core part the on-field arsenal. How are we doing that? Well, teams no longer have the luxury of kicking the ball out on the full within their defensive 22 to relieve pressure. 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, so keeping the ball in the field of play will be the aim of the game. We’re creating more instinctive play, teams will now apply a different style in this area of the field depending on the defensive line in front of them. Watch this space – literally!
Running rugby is what we’re all about, but kicking is a skill, that when executed well, can cut an opposition defence to shreds. And in Rapid Rugby it’s all about precision. Teams can take advantage of the 10/22 rule – best explained in this three-step process;
What is your reward? You move down the field and pick up your attack from the point the ball bounces out! Coaches will have to decide how many players to take from the defensive line to limit the impact of attacking kicks – this one is going to be a cracker!
Everyone wants to see the best players play for longer so that’s one of the reasons we’ve introduced rolling substitutions. Players can be rotated for management or tactical reasons at any time during the match and then return to the action when needed. There will be a maximum of 10 substitutions for each team during a game.
To meet expectations of a rapid viewing experience at the stadium and on screens across the globe, we’ve reduced the time of each half to 35 min each. That’s 10 min less than a traditional rugby match is currently played, and while it might not sound like a big difference, we’ve spoken to a lot of key stakeholders in the game and they agree this simple change creates a sense of urgency in a match that players and fans alike will embrace.
As you’d expect, competition points will be accumulated if your team wins (4 points) or draws (2 points) their match. We’ve also upped the ante to incentivise and reward attacking tactics and game style. Bonus points are up for grabs if your team does one or more of the following;
The Rapid Rugby Showcase will launch our brand in the Asia Pacific region, travelling throughout Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australasia to give fans, viewers, players and coaches a live taste of what is to come in Season One in 2020, when teams will compete for an AUD$1 million first prize.
Expansion is a key part of our planning and in 2020 we will look to the east coast of Australia, representation from New Zealand (either playing from a NZ base or potentially in Asia), as well as Japan and Hawaii. With interest throughout the region already high, further growth is anticipated to come from countries including China, India, the UAE, Sri Lanka and Korea. Investment in China and India will start immediately, developing rugby in schools and communities, establishing player and coach pathways and engaging the fan base.
Global Rapid Rugby is owned and supported within the Minderoo Group. The strategic direction will be set by an Independent Board, of which Andrew Forrest will be Chairman. The operations of Rapid Rugby will be managed by a Clubs Commission and Unions Commission under defined Terms of Reference.
Our vision is to create a growing international rugby competition that enriches its communities.
A marquee player initiative will be implemented by Global Rapid Rugby to assist in creating an elite standard of competition, a competitive and even playing field across the league, as well as game development by supporting and nurturing local playing talent. The identification, recruitment and allocation of marquee players will be coordinated by Global Rapid Rugby in association with partnering clubs. A marquee includes (but is not limited to) players participating in a top-tier professional rugby competition, are currently, or have previously, played at a national team level, or are of national interest to a union participating in the Global Rapid Rugby competition (i.e. the player would meet the host union’s national qualification criteria).