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Thread: Melbourne Rebels on the rugby march

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    Melbourne Rebels on the rugby march

    Melbourne Rebels on the rugby march

    March 29, 2007 - 5:08pm
    Story by: ARU


    The Melbourne Rebels will be the Victorian team in the new Australian Rugby Championship.

    Wallaby legend and “rugby rebel”, “Buddha” Handy launched the team’s name and new jersey at the VRU’s Weary Dunlop Rugby lunch at Crown’s Palladium attended by over 450 enthusiastic Victorian rugby supporters.

    Buddha said, “like the great Weary Dunlop, Victorian rugby has a history of daring to be different, a touch of the larrikin, and always having a go. These qualities are what you want in a Rebel and characterize the way Victoria is successfully tackling this historic year”.

    World Cup winning coach, Rod Macqueen, was also at the launch adding his support. “The way that Victorian rugby has strategically approached this enormous challenge gives me great confidence in the contribution that Victoria is going to swiftly and increasingly make to Australian rugby.”

    Rebel’s coach, Bill Millard, a successful premier rugby and Australian Sevens coach presented the team’s first player signings, Luke Burgess, Peter Owens and David Haigh.

    World Cup winning Wallaby, Matt Cockbain, was the VRU’s guest at the launch and is in discussions to play a leadership and playing role with the new team. “When the Victorian Rugby Union approached me to be part of something fresh and new, it was too good an opportunity not to consider.”

    Cockbain has been in training and working with the Reds as line out coach. “I’m really looking forward to helping the next generation of Wallabies establish their credentials and at the same time really put rugby on the map in Victoria”.

    The Melbourne Rebels first game is in Canberra on August 11 and the first home game is against Queensland’s East Coast Aces on August 18 – a rebel-red letter day for rugby.

    Burgs:
    Just waiting for an announcement from Canberra now to finish the list.
    It has been assumed they will be called the Viking however they may surprise.
    When all the info is in I will do up an info page to make it all clear.

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    I hope they manage to get Nathan Grey into their line-up as well. Dunno how this fits with the Japanese season tho. It would be fantastic if someone could get Kef as well if it fits. This is about blooding players into semi-pro level rugby but each side is going to need a few hard heads as well.

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    Yep agree shasta.
    It's a balance as you indicate but certainly the young fellas will need some good senior direction and who knows, the likes of Grey just might play himself back into contention!
    I'm actually starting to get pretty excited about this new comp, I hope everyone gets behind it!
    There was a poll up earlier on the ARU site and around 38% indicated they were more excited by the ARC than the Bundy Series, Sevens and one other.
    Good early signs of support assuming many votes would have been cast in NSW.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    I'm just happy that there's some more top flight rugby in Perth later in the year. I went to the Wallabies and a couple of the Japanese matches but jeez it seemed like a long time between the end of S 14 last year and the 3rd of Feb this year.

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    The Melbourne Rebels - I think they already exist and this may be a copyright infringment. I know some of their leather clad NSW "brothers".

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    Could be an interesting "negotiation"....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs
    I'm actually starting to get pretty excited about this new comp, I hope everyone gets behind it!
    I'm certainly getting keen - more rugby can't be bad and getting to see some of the older players for longer and the development of the young guys will add interest. This year we can even use it for curtain-raiser to the world cup matches.

    It's been a long time coming and I personally think it as crucial to the future of Rugby in Australia and their ability to compete with the other codes. I just hope they rapidly bed down a professional approach to the competition wrt enhanced training and the like. I also hope the current competition structure proves to just be a starting point, as it doesn't really fit into the overall development structure for mine. Presumably they had to do enough to get past opposition by the clubs to get it off the ground, but I hope the compromises don't impact on the viability of the competition. One way or another, I guess we will find out what real support the game has in the various locations.

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    I know Fulvio had a few concerns on running the tournament while the club finals were being run, and it is probably a similar story around the states, but i also feel that it being the first year that they will reschedule the ARC so that next year it won't interfere with the local club scenes....We are also looking to squeeze this event in before the RWC so unfortunately for the club scene that involved a bit of juggling at thier expense...Lets just hope the spectacle which will be ARC can become a permanent fixture on the rugby calender after the domestic season ends...
    As for the Rebels, i wonder if any are actually 1%ers....

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