The main difference this time is Fox's money, which makes all the difference. Plus they are seeking to have others put in money to run the teams, more like A League franchises. They also have the advantage of the Rebels being up and running now, as the ARC Rebels were a big part of the previous $5m loss as they were a start up. Plus the ARC 2007 budget was unreasonably low (I heard).
Sheffield Shield and ITM Cup are both subsidised by the bigger dollars coming in for the top tier for each sport, as the blokes in charge realise they need to put the money back in to have the foundations necessary. The ARU doesn't have the excess coin from the Wallabies to do so, as it already does the same with Super Rugby, but with the money from Fox and the team owners they are seeking, that will hopefully fill that void. Oh to have an AFL or NRL war chest ....
Disagree on Adelaide. Would have the same problems with the ARC Rebels, too hard to start from scratch and not a strong local comp to support the team i.e. all players imported. Somewhere for a later date. I see 8 team comp as being more likely.
I like the Brisbane Griffins name, and history. Nice. Better than the bloody Aces or Tornadoes. City colours on the crest were blue and gold, and the crest would look great on a jersey.
Canberra Kookaburras also good. I support reusing older teams and colours to try to have some history and heritage.
Would love to see Wildfires in it, but might be a future expansion spot. 4-5 sides from NSW/ACT might be a bit much ....
Perth Spirit fine with, as with Axemen. However, as the Rebels already have the Melbourne moniker (rather than Victoria). Perhaps Victoria, or Port Phillip Axeman?
North Shore (not Harbour, already an NZ team called that although I prefer it) should be the old Rays, which is what they really were. Platypuses not butch enough I'm afraid for today's Gen Y. At least a ray can off the Crocodile Hunter (too soon?).
Don't agree on Emus, but not sure what mascot. Heelers would steal the Country monicker. The state bird is the Brolgas. State animal is Koala (Drop Bears?) The state coat of arms has a stag and brolga. Also not sure about South Brisbane, if Griffins aren't North Brisbane (although I note the formal cities used to be until 1925 Brisbane and South Brisbane, bu whoever supported an old LGA region in sport. I don't know enough about natural divides in Brisbane to work it out, like Sydney. Geographically the Brisbane region is described as Brisbane and Moreton, so perhaps the Brisbane Griffins and the Moreton (or Moreton Bay) Brolgas (again, better than the frigging East Coast Aces)? I suspect the Queensland bids will come down to what clubs and syndicates bid. Alternatively, it sounds a bit Yank, but the Cyclones .... ? Sharks? Hell, steal the Rays tag off North Shore....
I would just roll the old Sydney Fleet and Western Sydney Rams in, same colours etc, although Fleet somewhere in east not at North Sydney Oval (one of the biggest errors in the ARC was where the Rays and Fleet played out of, as you have said previously Sheek). My only comment is it might be the Cumberland Rams, given Cumberland is the county covering most of Sydney (similar to Moreton for Brisbane above). Further, maybe Botany Bay (or East Harbour) Fleet to differentiate from North Shore. Thus allowing fans to use "Bound for Botany Bay ..." as a terrace chant ... (as opposed to the Rays' which would be "Everyone hates us, we don't care ..." - yah boo! Go Rays!).
If we end up with the Shute Shield syndicates generally reflecting the old 3 ARC Sydney sides, it will be pretty ironic given they apparently resisted/resented the 3 ARC sides so much.
The timing for the Expressions of Interest anticipates that some preliminary discussions within your organisation will be necessary, and provides
appropriate time for that to happen.
You are asked to return the attached Expression of Interest form to
firstname.lastname@example.org by 13 January 2014.
Upon submitting an Expression of Interest, you will be provided with a formal tender document specifying the criteria that will be used by the ARU to select teams to participate in the competition.
There will be the opportunity for extensive consultation and collaboration with all Rugby stakeholders during the tender window. The target date for announcing NRC Teams is 28 February 2014.
For more information, please contact:
Ben Whitaker :: General Manager, Development Pathways, ARU
I've already asked Rowley if we can get together at the Oaks to draft one up for the Green & Gold Thirsties.
We'll be all over the fan base criteria ....