Force confirm Global Rapid Showcase schedule

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Western Force has confirmed its 2019 schedule, kicking off with a clash against the World XV on March 22.

While the launch of the full-blown Global Rapid Rugby has been pushed back until 2020, the side will play against sides from China, Singapore, Fiji and Samoa during the four-month schedule.

All of the teams involved were slated to be part of the expanded Global Rapid Rugby competition but it is unclear exactly how far along they were in their preparation for that competition.

Force head of rugby Matt Hodgson said the opener against Robbie Deans' World XV would be a good start for the side.

“The Western Force against an international line-up coached by Robbie Deans is a perfect stage to launch the Rapid Rugby Showcase. I have been asked ‘when does it start’ and ‘who will be playing’ wherever I go, so I know there is plenty of interest,” he said.

“I also appreciate that a lot of people have been waiting for the 2019 draw to be released, so thank you for your patience. If it’s half as good as we expect, it will be worth the wait.

“It’s so exciting to know that this new brand of sport and entertainment will soon be on show in Fiji, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and both sides of Australia. I hope it’s the beginning of something very special for the entire Asia Pacific region, its local communities and for rugby itself."

A broadcast plan is yet to be settled on for the tournament, with the Force in discussion with online broadcasters in different markets. 

Last season, the Force's World Series Rugby matches were broadcast on Twitter and 7Mate.

SCHEDULE

Friday March 22, 7:40pm local, 10:40pm AEDT– Western vs World XV, HBF Park, Perth

Asia showcase

Friday March 29 – 7:40pm local, 10:40pm AEDT Western Force vs South China Tigers, HBF Park, Perth

Friday April 12  - 7:45pm, 9:45pm AEDT Western Force vs Asia Pacific Dragons, Aberdeen Sports Ground, Hong Kong

Sunday April 21 – 3:10pm, 5:10pm AEST - South China Tigers vs Asia Pacific Dragons, Aberdeen Sports Ground, Hong Kong

Sunday April 28, 3:10pm, 5:10pm AEST  Asia Pacific Dragons vs South China Tigers, Queenstown Stadium, Singapore

Sunday May 5, 3:10pm, 5:10pm AEST – Asia Pacific Dragons vs Western Force

Sunday May 12, 4pm local, 6pm AEST – South China Tigers vs Western Force

Pacific Showcase

Saturday May 18, 3:10pm, 1:10pm AEST – Fijian Latui vs Kagifa Samoa, Churchill Park, Fiji

Saturday May 25, 3:10pm, 1:10pm AEST – Fijian Latui vs Western Force, Churchill Park, Fiji

Friday May 31, 7:45pm, 5:45pm AEST – Western Force vs Kagifa Samoa, HBF Park, Perth

Friday June 7, 5:40pm, 3:40pm AEST – Kagifa Samoa vs Fijian Latui, Navigation Homes Stadium, Auckland

Saturday June 15, 3:40pm AEST – Kagifa Samoa vs Western Force, Ballymore

Friday June 21, 7:40pm, 9:40pm AEST – Western Force vs Fijian Latui, HBF Park, Perth

Bledisloe showcase

Friday August 9, 7:40pm, 9:40pm AEST– Western vs TBC, HBF Park, Perth