Australian rugby union player Israel Folau.
Australian rugby union player Israel Folau. PAUL MILLER

Brisbane to host pre-season Global Tens tournament

RUGBY UNION: Israel Folau and Israel Dagg have signed on as playing ambassadors for the inaugural Brisbane Global Tens, set for February 11-12 next year at Suncorp Stadium.

All 10 Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, French club Toulon, the Japanese Panasonic Wild Knights, South Africa's Blue Bulls and the Samoan national team have signed up for the two-day pre-season tournament.

Teams have 10 players, usually five forwards and five backs, and matches are often of two 10-minute halves.

The concept is backed by Duco Events, the creators of the NRL's successful Auckland Nines.

"I love watching the Nines and looking at that concept, I've always thought that rugby can do a similar thing," Folau (pictured) said.

"The amount of space that's going to be out there on the field, that's something that excites me personally."

Organiser David Higgins said he believed more teams would be keen to take part in future. He said there had been interest from Fiji.

Dagg, who plays for the Crusaders, said he was looking forward to tackling Toulon and the Wild Knights.

"We might not ever get an opportunity to play these guys again," Dagg said.

Former Wallabies and Crusaders coach Robbie Deans, and now the mentor at the Wild Knights, said the tournament would be a major coup for rugby.

"You could argue that this will be the biggest gathering of world-class rugby players in one city in the history of the game," he said.


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