VRU call in big hitters for Super15 bid

Melbourne’s Super 15 bid team have showed how determined they are to win the bid for the 15th team by recruiting former World Cup-winning Wallabies coach Rod Macqueen and Australia’s biggest media buyer Harold Mitchell.


The Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) revealed that their big name backers had joined its advisory committee as the campaign to win endorsement for the 2011 Super Rugby franchise stepped up a gear.


The VRU also revealed that they will adopt the name Melbourne Rebels for the bid and that name was the name of the Melbourne team that played in the now defunct Australian Rugby Championship


Plans are advanced to create a sub-committee to oversee the Rebels’ on-field plans, including the appointment of a coach and recruitment of players.


“This bid has been a long time in the making. We have been planning for this since late last year,” VRU president Gary Gray told the Herald Sun.


“Nothing will be left to chance to ensure that every box is ticked.”


“The full resources of the Melbourne rugby community and our corporate supporters are galvanised behind us.”


The VRU appear to have competition within the city for the 15th team in the Super 15 from a second Victorian bid that reportedly involves A-League premier Melbourne Victory chairman Geoff Lord.


The bid from the Gold Coast has been reported to be struggling to raise the $5 million funding the ARU said it would need while the VRU are confident that they could raise that amount.


The Rebels will know their competition next Wednesday when all initial expressions of interest, containing basic details such as location and facilities, have to be lodged with the ARU.


Once all of the expressions of interest are in the ARU will decide which bids will progress to the next phase.


A Melbourne Super 15 team would be based at the new rectangular stadium being built next to Olympic Park.

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