A new rugby competition involving teams from Australia and smaller nations has been conditionally sanctioned by the World Rugby Council.
Rapid Rugby, the brainchild of Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, will include the Perth-based Western Force as well as teams from Samoa, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Fiji, plus another backed by a private consortium based in a country yet to be revealed.
The teams would contest 56 games over 14 rounds, prior to four finals over three weeks, with the winners taking a $1 million first prize.
The competition will run during a similar period to Super Rugby, with Forrest indicating a start in late February, with a three-week finals series culminating in a June grand final.
The competition will be run out of Hong Kong.
"We avoid all those stultifying walking through the honey of the politics and bureaucracy of Rugby Australia," Forrest told AAP.
"[RA chief executive] Raelene [Castle] is doing a fantastic job trying to drag them into the next century, but we needed to avoid all that.
"We needed to be fast moving, have rapid decision making, no bias."
The league was expected to introduce some innovative changes to their gameplay, reducing games to 70 minutes and include rolling substitutions. Teams scoring a PowerTry, which starts from inside their own 22, would get nine points, without a conversion.