Rugby
AAP 11d

Wallabies great Lynagh joins team Twiggy

Rugby

Wallabies great Michael Lynagh says became so concerned with the state of Australian rugby he felt compelled to help Andrew Forrest launch the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship.

The former Australian skipper has joined 'Team Twiggy' as an advisor after being introduced to the billionaire mining magnate by a mutual friend in Sydney.

The IPRC is yet to be approved by Rugby Australia but the parties are deep in negotiation and it is hoped a deal can be signed off soon.

World Rugby can then sanction the six-team tournament, which plans to kick off in March 2019, with Lynagh to update international officials on progress this week.

Forrest initially wanted to present his vision at a World Rugby board meeting on November 14.

He has grand visions for the concept, believing it can significantly boost the footprint of rugby in Australia and throughout the Indo Pacific region.

Lynagh, who played 72 Tests for the Wallabies between 1984 and 1995 and helped them win the 1991 World Cup, now works as London-based managing director of Dow Jones.

However says he became a "concerned Australian rugby citizen" following the axing of the Western Force.

"I was fairly distressed by it all ... I was quite disturbed and worried," Lynagh said.

"Then reading about what Andrew was trying to do ... I just liked what he was doing. That's where my support for it came out."

Seasonal weather conditions in Asia mean the IPRC is likely to happen between March and June when Super Rugby is also played.

Rugby Australia say they will only support the competition if it doesn't affect the integrity of Super Rugby, suggesting its best players are unlikely to be given permission to play.

Lynagh is adamant the IPRC won't "cannibalise" Super Rugby and will in fact help lure some of Australia's finest overseas-based players home.

It is also hoped a host of stars from other countries will flock to join.

The competition will feature one Australian side - the Western Force.

The other five teams for the inaugural season are to be decided but Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Fiji, Colombo, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul are in the running.

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