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Thread: The Fifth Australian Super Team

  1. #1
    Champion tdevil's Avatar
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    The Fifth Australian Super Team

    THE Western Sydney Rams are about to be resurrected as the fifth Australian Super team and based at Parramatta Stadium.

    The Herald has been told that when the Super 14 competition is expanded, the fifth Australian team is set to be in Sydney, preferably in the western suburbs, with Parramatta Stadium the most obvious home ground.

    It is likely the venture will involve the lucrative financial support of the Parramatta Leagues Club. This will mean the return of the Western Sydney Rams, one of the teams involved in the one and only year of the Australian Rugby Championship, which was recently disbanded by the Australian Rugby Union because of exorbitant costs.

    But the new Western Sydney Rams will not be a side comprising promising players just below Wallabies level, rather a powerful provincial team with Test representatives and players from the Pacific Islands.

    SANZAR officials are seriously considering revamping the Super 14 following complaints that it has become stale. The most likely outcome is extra teams, which would excite its television broadcasters because it would mean more matches. The Super season, which may involve two zones, will be longer, probably finishing in June or July rather than May. This is likely to mean Tests between the Wallabies and touring northern hemisphere sides would be played in midweek during this period.

    Australia's SANZAR representatives will lobby strongly for another team, even though three of the four local provinces have struggled to make an impact in the Super tournament.

    The plans for the West Sydney team are at an early stage but have the backing of leading local officials, who believe it is imperative Australian rugby protects its Sydney base.

    The ARU is concerned that the three other football codes have made great inroads into its heartland, and if it is to counter AFL and rugby league, it must have a stronger presence in Australia's biggest market.

    ARU officials have been told New Zealand officials are surprised that the biggest city in the Super competition has only one team and that the Kiwis have been expecting another to be introduced in the growth area of the western suburbs.

    Although the fourth franchise was given to the Western Force in late 2004, the previous ARU administration showed great interest in placing the team in Sydney's West.

    Well before John O'Neill was replaced as ARU chief executive officer by Gary Flowers, the ARU was in discussions with Parramatta Leagues Club chief executive Denis Fitzgerald about the fourth team being based at Parramatta Stadium.

    The push gained momentum in 2001, with Parramatta Leagues Club showing interest and even Penrith leagues club officials discussing how they could become involved in a Super franchise.

    The original plan was for the fourth Super 12 franchise to be a joint venture between the ARU (51 per cent) and the cashed-up leagues club or clubs (49 per cent). At the time, it was suggested that Parramatta were interested in injecting more than $8 million into the fourth team.

    However, these adventurous plans were not pursued by the Flowers-led administration, with Perth winning the bid ahead of Melbourne several months later.

    The Parramatta proposal is now back on the agenda, but it is bound to encounter opposition from the NSW Rugby Union, which would look upon a new franchise in its backyard as a serious threat to its spectator, marketing and sponsorship base.

    But those pushing the proposal argue that Sydney is big enough for at least two high-profile provincial teams. And if they don't pursue it, rugby in Sydney will fall further behind the other three football codes.

    As O'Neill said this week: "We need to expand the game. But expansion should not be at the expense of an erosion of your market share in your key areas.

    "There are eight rugby league teams in Sydney, one in Newcastle, one in Canberra, and we [rugby] have NSW in Sydney and the Brumbies in Canberra. We need to protect ourselves in our own backyard, and the expansion of Super rugby in a form which is valuable needs to be explored."

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  2. #2
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdevil View Post
    But the new Western Sydney Rams will not be a side comprising promising players just below Wallabies level, rather a powerful provincial team with Test representatives and players from the Pacific Islands.
    So will this be the touted PI expansion team? If so, will it be under ARU jurisdiction? will it mean the reversal of the Wallabies only policy for the other provinces....who will pay for it, we obviously have nooo money in the bank.....Who will watch it, do they think the Rams were not attended because everyone living in parramatta is of PI descent, and they will get better attendance with a PI team...Too many questions.... not enough answers!


    How does the VRU feel about narrowly missing the boat against RugbyWA and not even starting against Parramatta....That's gotta suck!

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    The Herald has been told ????????????

    Let's start a poll - how many of us believe this

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Well you can put one vote down for "don't believe"

    This is all I read in that article: Western Sydney thinks they should be the fifth team; they've cut-and-pasted some O'Neil quotes, out of context, to make it sound credible; and the Herald is pushing the barrow cos of some NSW thing.

    There is some really clever selection of information going on in that article too. Yeah, there was interest in a West Sydney team back when the ARU was trying to decide on a 4th team but it was actually the third choice behind Perth and Melbourne.

    There's nothing in that article to suggest that the ARU are going to put another team in Sydney. I'm pretty sure that a 5th team would go to Melbourne.

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    Legend Contributor Flamethrower's Avatar
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    If it is true, just think the Vic's will react

    I almost hope it happens

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    Champion Skiza's Avatar
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    I have rellies in Melbourne and they were pretty disappointed when they lost out to WA...they also reckoned a lot of others shared their sentiments....i think it would be foolish to put the fifth team in Western Sydney over Melbourne, when the ARU has the chance to further expose the game on a national level.

    The good thing about the expansion? Longer season = More rugby

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    Poll added.

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    Champion Contributor Jehna's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what rugby is like in south australia? What about giving them an opportunity?

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    "Remember lads, rugby is a team game; all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Giteau."

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    Champion RuckNMaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdevil View Post
    SANZAR officials are seriously considering revamping the Super 14 following complaints that it has become stale.
    what about some free to air coverage as well?, im sure that would produce some "fresh" interest across the country,I realise FOX have the rights to broadcast all sewen up but mabey just match of the round for a start. ABC tried to put some rugby on free to air tv last year but second teir comp games on Monday 10:30pm on ABC2 isnt such a good start.

    anyway, I hope there is a proper method behind chosing a 5th team in Australia and its not just "the squeaky wheel geting the oil".

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beige View Post
    There is some really clever selection of information going on in that article too.
    Growden's modus operandi - never let the truth get in the way of an attention grabber.

    Or was that never let a pie go bye without a sauce?

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehna View Post
    Does anyone know what rugby is like in south australia? What about giving them an opportunity?
    Jenha, I have mates and family in Melbourne......I'd love to se SA get the rugby before them....It'd make up for all the major sporting evens Victoria has stolen of every other state in the country. Serves the tossers right!

    (Yes I was born in Victoria, but saw the light and consider myself a born again Sandgroper. I'd never go back, I visit occasionally to do the one thing that Victoria does better than WA which is snow. Everything else is crapper over there!

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehna View Post
    Does anyone know what rugby is like in south australia? What about giving them an opportunity?
    I would presume because they are hardly mentioned, they may not have the resourses to make it happen..not at this stage anyway but I would be interested too to hear from a SAust'an regarding the state of the Game in their state.

    As mentioned, it would be foolish for the ARU to ignore Victoria simply to placate the NSW "power brokers". The beauty of a Victorian team other than spreading the game and taking advantage of the vibrancy and resources of Melbourne, is that it would add to the inter-state rivalry that would make an expanded S14 more exciting in Australia. I doubt the ARU would swap that for a cross-city rivalry.

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    give it to melbourne, its a better night out there!!.....

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  14. #14
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenyaQuin View Post
    I would presume because they are hardly mentioned, they may not have the resourses to make it happen..not at this stage anyway but I would be interested too to hear from a SAust'an regarding the state of the Game in their state.

    The way Oxleymoron talks, there isn't a state of the game in that state.

    He might be overstating things, but he's the man on the ground!

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    Come on guys, it wasn't that long ago...South Australia Presidents VX v Perth Spirit LIVE SCORES - Western Force Rugby Supporters Site

    My impression was that they are about 80-90% of what WA was pre-Force.

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