ARU, Forrest form "working group"

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The ARU has taken an active step in helping WA billionaire Andrew Forrest develop the Indo-Pacific Rugby Championship, announcing a new working group on Friday.

Headed by ARU deputy chairman Brett Robinson and including a number of key governing body representatives, the group is aiming to work with Forrest to iron out some of the issues in the competition.

Concerns like Test eligibility for players in the competition, its place in the annual rugby calendar are set to be addressed by the group.

ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said the national body was committed to working with Forrest on the IPRC.

“The ARU is making a serious commitment to work in collaboration with Andrew Forrest’s team to develop the IPRC concept and will assign a small management team led by Brett Robinson to assist with the core elements of establishing the competition,” he said in a statement.

“There is a significant amount of detail to work through and it is critical for ARU to be able to fully understand how it can support the IPRC and ensure it plays a constructive role in building the game across the country and producing successful Wallabies and national teams.

“We understand the urgency on getting alignment on the key issues of calendar alignment, player contracting and player eligibility, which is why we have committed ARU resources to work through these elements as soon as possible."

Clyne said the working group would also talk to people outside the group, including coaches, to try and develop the best-case scenario.

“Ultimately the most important outcome is to find a solution that creates a stronger Australian rugby.

“We will also consult with others outside the management team, including coaches, to ensure that we are working towards the best outcomes from a high performance perspective.”