Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Axed Western Force to play Fiji, Samoa and Hong Kong

Axed Western Force to play Fiji, Samoa and Hong Kong

Axed Western Force to play Fiji, Samoa and Hong Kong

Axed Super Rugby club Western Force has risen from the ashes with seven games announced today against the likes of Fiji, Samoa and Hong Kong.

Force were culled from Super Rugby last August, after governing body SANZAAR decided to reduce the competition from 18 teams to 15 for the 2018 season.

Tycoon Andrew Forrest vowed to keep the Force alive and he has announced plans for a six-team Indo Pacific Rugby Championship, which is expected to be up and running next year.

In the meantime, he has organised the seven-match “World Series Rugby (WSR)”, trialling what he called new initiatives designed to make the game “super spectator and player friendly”.

No details were provided on what the initiatives are.

Force will feature 11 former players from the Perth-based outfit such as Ian Prior, Peter Grant and Marcel Brache, along with several internationals including ex-South Africa centre Jaque Fourie.

“We have serious ambitions for this great team and for rugby in our region and intend to see these ambitions through, starting today with the launch of World Series Rugby,” said Forrest.

“The focus for 2018 is to reintroduce and reinforce professional rugby in Western Australia for the benefits of our grassroots community, our players and our fans.

“In 2019 the WSR will evolve into a high-calibre, international competition with the goal of making rugby the community-building sport of Asia.”

The Force kick off the series against Fiji on May 4 before a final game against a team to be announced on August 17. All matches will be played in Perth.

Schedule

May 4: Force v Fiji

May 13: Force v Tonga

June 9: Force v Melbourne Rebels

June 22: Force v Canterbury Crusaders

July 14: Force v Samoa

August 10: Force v Hong Kong

August 17: Force v TBC

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen ready to ‘break record’, says Rainsy lost

    Caretaker prime minister Hun Sen used a meeting with 18,400 factory workers on Wednesday to predict that he would beat the record for being the world’s longest-serving non-royal leader. He also used the platform to slam political opponent Sam Rainsy who he said had lost

  • Sihanoukville land prices skyrocketing amid breakneck development

    Sihanoukville, the Kingdom’s most famous beach destination for tourists, is seemingly becoming a paradise for Chinese investors as well. The huge influx of Chinese investors has caused property values to rise, especially the price of land, which has nearly doubled in some places near

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by