Melbourne - Australian Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels have formed an alliance with Japan's Kintetsu Liners that will see them exchange players and coaches over the next two years.
The teams will also look to play exhibition games in Osaka and Melbourne annually, as they work towards boosting on-field performance and commercialisation of both clubs.
The Liners, who play in the country's second tier competition, have recruited former Rebels pair Will Genia and Quade Cooper to help their push to regain a position in the Japanese Top League in 2020.
"The Melbourne Rebels are committed to taking Melbourne to the world through a multi-faceted international strategy," chief executive Baden Stephenson said in a Friday statement.
"We are developing strong relationships with many successful Japanese companies and utilising our expertise in rugby to support the Liners efforts to regain their place in the Top League."