Bledisloe Cup sevens in the wind
A Bledisloe Cup-style sevens showdown between Australia and New Zealand could become a fixture on the annual rugby calendar.
With rugby sevens – already established on the Commonwealth Games program – set to make its Olympic debut at Rio de Janiero 2016, officials are eager to boost the fledgling sport’s profile.
The ARU will trial a sevens encounter featuring Australia and New Zealand as a curtain-raiser to Sunday’s bumper Super Rugby match between the NSW Waratahs and Crusaders at Allianz Stadium.
While refusing to speculate on whether the fixture would become a permanent addition, the ARU admitted there was no reason why an annual sevens fixture couldn’t be part of a Bledisloe weekend in future years.
“Certainly an annual sevens match between Australia and New Zealand on home soil is an event we’d consider,” an ARU spokesman told AAP.
“Having it alongside a significant 15-a-side game would be a possibility.
“We’re always considering initiatives involving rugby sevens, particularly given that post-London Games it will be official Olympic sport.
“We’re looking to roll out a number of initiatives over the next 12 to 24 months.”
Meanwhile, ARU chairman Peter McGrath will not be seeking re-election as a director at the governing body’s annual general meeting in Sydney on Friday.
McGrath has served five years as chairman and seven years as a director.
He had already revealed he was standing down as chairman at this AGM, but has now confirmed he will not be standing for re-election as a director.
His departure means there will be two new directors appointed to the ARU board.
One will be a RUPA-appointed nominee, already announced as former Wallabies captain George Gregan.
The other will be be another state’s nomination, the position previously filled by McGrath.
There will also be a new chairman elected at a board meeting to follow the AGM.© AAP 2013
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