Hong Kong open to rebel league involvement

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

Hong Kong will consider involvement in Andrew Forrest's planned rebel rugby competition in the Indo-Pacific region.

Billionaire Western Force backer Forrest vowed to launch the breakaway competition after the club's failed Supreme Court appeal to stay in Super Rugby.

The mining magnate revealed scant detail about his proposal on Tuesday, but said the competition would feature six teams, with the Force one of them.

Hong Kong Rugby Union chief rugby operations officer Dai Rees said the country is open to participating, in an interview with the South China Morning Post.

"We'd be crazy not to look at it," Rees said.Forrest announced the introduction of a new competition yesterday. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"It's a seven-hour flight to Perth and it's in the same time zone. When you look around the world at other opportunities, that's not a long flight.

"We've been looking to add a team to the Japanese league and looking at opportunities to expand our base and bridge the gap between our domestic game and the international game as it moves into a more professional era.

"We have done that with the elite rugby program and we'd be silly not to look at other options."

Rees said Forrest nor any other Australian-based rugby officials had yet approached the HKRU to discuss the rebel competition proposal.Drew Mitchell has encouraged Force players to steer clear of the rebel league. Photo: Getty ImagesBut Western Force players are being encouraged not to turn their back on Australian Rugby Union despite its decision to axe the club from Super Rugby.

Former Force star Drew Mitchell, a 71-cap Wallaby, said current squad members would be better off vying to join one of the four other Australian franchises, rather that putting their eggs in Forrest's basket.

"I'd exhaust my options here in Australia," Mitchell told Fox Sports.

"If there were none here in Australia, I would look overseas.

"I would play at a level that would actually better my career rather than going to play against understrength sides.

"It's great for him (Forrest) to come up with something like this, but if there's no flesh to the bones, I think we'd be better off not talking about it."