Fri, Aug 09, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Success-hungry Australia rugby ‘must be patient’

Reuters, SYDNEY

The last attempt to bridge the gap between Super and club rugby, the Australian Rugby Championship (ARC), lasted just one season in 2007 before being ditched.

Along with the new tier are ambitious plans for growing the grassroots of the game, using sevens to attract youngsters and particularly targeting women.

Pulver said he had been concerned by reports that some of the elite independent schools in North Sydney, the bedrock of rugby union in Australia for a century or more, have been turning to the local Australian Rules code.

“I do worry, we operate in the world’s most competitive winter sports market, and our competitors are well-funded and well-run,” said Pulver, who attended one such school himself. “So we need to fight back with the appropriate strategies, but rugby is a very special game. Played well, there is no better game. Our opportunity is to focus on our own patch and if we get it right, believe me, the fans will support us in a big way.”

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