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Thread: Exciting new era in Rugby in Victoria

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Exciting new era in Rugby in Victoria

    March 11, 2008 - 1:27pm
    Story by: Other

    The Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) has entered into a dynamic new era with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with ACT Rugby, opening up exciting possibilities for both Unions.

    The Understanding outlines 12 initiatives ranging from Talent Development, coaching and referee development to sponsorship, Weary Dunlop Rugby and even the possibility of Super 14 Rugby in Melbourne.

    As part of the Memorandum, later this year the Victorian Axemen (Victoria’s Senior Representative team and current Australian Rugby Shield [ARS] champions) will travel to Canberra to play the Brumby Runners as a curtain raiser to a Brumbies home Super 14 game.

    Also one lucky young Victorian Coach will be given a scholarship to shadow the Brumbies coaching staff and up to 4 young players will attend the Brumbies Talent Development Camp in Canberra, at the Australian Institute of Sport, annually.

    The Memorandum also opens up the possibility of the Brumbies playing a Super 14 match in Melbourne in the future.

    Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) President Gary Gray said he was delighted to build on the already strong links between ACT and Victorian Rugby.

    “This Memorandum builds on existing arrangements between our Unions and opens up exciting opportunities for both ACT and Victorian Rugby.”

    “For a number of years many of our talented young players have followed a path to the ACT” said Gray, “such as young flyhalf Christian Lealiifano, who has been playing so well in this year’s Super 14.”

    “In recent years other Victorian players to make their mark in Brumby Rugby include Wallaby David Fitter, hooker David Palavi (now sadly injured) and loose forward Tamaiti Horua who went to the Brumbies as well, but is now playing for the Western Force.”

    “There’s also young Victorian players like John Ulugia and Tala Gray currently involved in Brumby programmes in Canberra.”

    Looking at the Memorandum in more details, the 12 initiatives are:

    1. Brumbies/VRU Talent Development Camp

    Brumbies coaches, including Head Coach Laurie Fisher, to conduct a 2-day Talent Development Camp in Melbourne

    2. ACT Rugby/VRU Representative Fixtures – Senior

    In 2008 the Victorian Axemen will play a match against the Brumby Runners as a curtain raiser to a Brumbies home Super 14 game.

    In 2009 the Axemen will play the Brumby Runners in Melbourne. which will hopefully be the start of home and away fixtures annually between the two teams.

    Both Unions will also explore the placement of a Victorian raised contracted Brumby or Academy player, such as Lealiifano, in the Axemen team.

    3. ACT Rugby/ VRU Representative Fixtures – Juniors

    Explore annual fixtures, ideally to be played home and away, at Under 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20s level.

    4. Coaching Scholarship

    The selected coach, 1 or 2 a year, to attend Brumbies advanced coaching seminars, including some shadow coaching with Brumbies team.

    5. Player Scholarship

    Up to 4 young players to attend the Brumbies Talent Development Camp in Canberra, at the Australian Institute of Sport, annually.

    6. ACT/VRU Coach and Referee Development

    This will lead to exchanges in terms of forums, personnel and resources (including on-line) between Coaches and Referees at both Unions.

    7. Joint sponsorship opportunities

    The provision of alliance benefits, overarching packages that span ACT and Victoria and explore the combination of VRU/Weary Dunlop/Brumbies/combined Community benefits package.

    8. Weary Dunlop Rugby

    Opportunities for the Brumbies to promote membership and merchandise through Weary Dunlop Rugby and recognition by the VRU through active and ongoing support from the Brumbies.

    9. Melbourne Test Match

    Explore potential marketing opportunities to benefit both Unions.

    10. Super 14 Rugby in Melbourne

    Explore the viability of playing a Brumbies trial match in Melbourne and the viability of playing one Super 14 match in Melbourne

    11. VRU Centre of Excellence Program

    The Brumbies to give expertise and advice in the development of a Victorian Rugby Academy Program.

    12. VRU Corporate Calendar

    Explore opportunities for Melbourne based businesses that support the ACT.

    For Media Enquiries or to arrange an interview with VRU President Gary Gray please call Alex Broun on
    0408 268 043 or email

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  2. #2
    Champion oxleymoron's Avatar
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    This is the beginning of the Victorian Brumbies...

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  3. #3
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    Actually, I think it is a smart move to head exactly that off - give them a rugby outlet, there may not be the same push towards relocation.

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