Countdown on for Melbourne’s Super Rugby Rebels
The Brumby Labor Government has welcomed news that the Melbourne Rebels Rugby consortium is now officially up and running.
The Australian Rugby Union today handed control of the Super Rugby franchise to the Rebels consortium headed by business identity Harold Mitchell.
Acting Sports Minister Justin Madden said the historic handover meant Super Rugby in Australia’s sporting capital was one step closer.
“Playing out of Melbourne’s new rectangular stadium from 2011, the Melbourne Rebels will add yet another choice for sports loving Victorians,” Mr Madden said.
“The Victorian rugby community has lobbied hard and long for Melbourne representation in a Super Rugby competition and from now the countdown is officially on.
“I welcome today’s handover of control and wish the Melbourne Rebels all the best and hope they form part of Victoria’s proud sporting fabric for many years to come.”
The Melbourne Rebels will join the Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Victory in playing out of the soon-to-be-opened rectangular stadium.
Mr Madden said the stadium will be the perfect place to watch top-class rugby action.
“Victorians love their sport and international rugby matches played in Melbourne have always been well supported,” he said.
“The rectangular configuration of the stadium will put spectators right on top of the action and create an intimidating atmosphere for visiting teams of not only Super Rugby, but also soccer and rugby league.”
Following today’s official handover, the Melbourne Rebels will now go in search of a chief executive officer, head coach and playing roster in preparation for their entry into the competition into the 2011 season.
In their first season, the Melbourne Rebels will play eight home games in an expanded 16-match Super Rugby season.