Global Rapid Rugby 2020 Schedule
Global Rapid Rugby (GRR) has announced the updated schedule for the 2020 season, with coronavirus causing some changes.
Global Rapid Rugby 2020 schedule
According to a press release statement from the GRR organisers, “Global Rapid Rugby announced a March 14 Opening Round spectacular in Perth, Australia, amongst an amended schedule for the Asia Pacific competition’s inaugural home-and-away season.”
The Fijian Latui will host the China Lions in a night game in Suva, followed by a doubleheader at HBF Park in Perth. Manuma Samoa will play the South China Tigers, followed by the Western Force taking on the Malaysia Valke.
Global Rapid Rugby CEO, Mark Evans said “The situation in China and its effects elsewhere have meant the schedule has been amended a little but, I’m proud to say, there is not one hurdle we have not been able to overcome. The health and welfare of the players, the coaches and our fans has been our number one concern and we have followed the advice of all relevant authorities, including the World Health Organisation, every step of the way.”
The China Lions, a team jointly supported by the China Rugby Football Association and New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty has had to move its home games, initially planned for Shanghai (China) and Rotorua (NZ).
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are government restrictions on sporting teams entering China, resulting in The Lions home games all being played in New Zealand in 2020. Rapid Rugby is also working closely with Rugby Australia to provide a venue for two games in Australia.
There are ten rounds of rugby running from 13th March until the 24th of May. The grand final will be played on the 6th June at HBF Park in Perth.
Global Rapid Rugby teams 2020
There are six teams confirmed for the 2020 season, three of which come from Asia. The Malaysian Valke return as does the Hong Kong-based South China Tigers, while the Chinese based China Lions is a new addition.
They join the Australian Western Force, Fijian Latui and the Manuma Samoa teams from the Pacific.
- Western Force
- Malaysia Valke
- Fijian Latui
- Manuma Samoa
- South China Tigers
- China Lions
On the opening weekend of GRR in March, Evans said “It’s exciting to think that within six hours, six teams representing the rich tradition of Australia and New Zealand, the exciting potential of Asia, and the raw talent of the Pacific Islands will be on show and growing the game of rugby.”
The Western Force also unveiled their playing jersey this week after having a warm-up match this past weekend. They remain the favourites for this seasons competition.
The Fijian Latui have been training hard in Fiji with their squad announced recently. Fiji Latui head coach Senirusi Seruvakula said “We’ve to be very patient with these boys. How we play the GRR format since it is a fast-paced game. This is a totally a different team this year with many young players. It is the pathway to prepare them for the Fijian Drua and Flying Fijians.”
The South China Tigers had previously announced some details on their schedule which we reported on, and on FB this week announced the squad was training together.
Manuma Samoa, also today announced that their name comes from the multi-coloured fruit dove (Ptilinopus perousii) found in that country. The team was renamed Manuma Samoa from Kagifa Samoa with the backing of the Samoa Rugby Union for the 2020 Rapid Rugby season.
The 2019 squad included Samoan-based players, Tongans, Fijians and New Zealanders as well as Samoan-eligible players based in Australia and New Zealand.
Little information has come from the South African backed Malaysian Valke or Manuma Samoa.
Find out more about rugby in Asia
- Read our views from last year in the future of Rapid Rugby.
- Discover our Guide on the best International Asian rugby tournaments in 2020.
- Find out more about the Best International Rugby Tournaments 2020
- How has Coronavirus affected rugby in Asia?