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More on Melbourne Super 15 saga

THE AUSTRALIAN Ruby Union is confident the Melbourne Super 15 franchise will be up and running by early next year, says its deputy chief executive Matt Carroll.

But they have not ruled out the possibility of appointing a project manager if the ownership issues have not been solved by then.

It was reported two days ago that the venture was in serious risk after a number of investors from the VicSuper15 group pulled out of negotiations with the ARU following a funding dispute.

However, despite two backers – Craig Dunn and Ray Evans – walking away from the deal, those fears seemed to be exaggerated.

Carroll (above left) confirmed to the Australian Associated Press that negations were continuing with the other perspective investors – Kevin Maloney and Harold Mitchell – and any issues surrounding Australia’s first privately run franchise would be sorted by early next year. CLICK HERE to read more.

Beale to play fullback for Tahs?

COULD we see Wallaby first five Kurtley Beale wearing the No15 shirt for the Waratahs during the Super 14?

Rumour has it that Daniel Halangahu is the frontrunner to secure the playmakers role, and with the Sydney-based side having also signed Wallabies vice captain Berrick Barnes from the Reds, it seems the 20-year-old’s path in the halves is blocked, meaning game time at fullback is likely.

Tahs coach Chris Hickey even hinted as much during an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. CLICK HERE to read more.

Maxwell: Olympic inclusion bad news for Scotland rugby

WHO SAID sports and politics don’t mix?

According to The Scotsman, former sports minister and Nationalist party MSP Stewart Maxwell (right) has quashed the old adage, calling for the Scotland Rugby Union to veto rugby sevens inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games.

The West of Scotland MSP fears it will lead to the scrapping of the Sevens World Cup and undermine Scotland’s national team.

“The SRU must use their place in the IRB to stop this plan that will push Scotland’s sevens – the home of sevens – off the world stage,” he says. CLICK HERE to read more.

Crowley gets old Taranaki job back

WELECOME back, Leo Crowley.

No doubt that’s what Taranaki Rugby Union chief executive Mark Robinson said when he named him as assistant coach of the amber and blacks for the next two seasons.

The appointment will be the second time Crowley (left) has held the position, after initially serving under Adrian Kennedy in 2008 before falling out with the recently departed coach.

“I’m absolutely stoked,” Crowley told the Taranaki Daily News after being asked how he felt about getting his old job back. CLICK HERE to read more.

Salary caps and foreign player quota for Top 14

Former All Black captain Tana Umaga is among the foreigners playing in France

FRENCH clubs face salary caps and limits on the number of foreign players they can have on their books next season, according to website allblacks.com.

The La Ligue Nationale de Rugby – the governing body that oversees both the Top 14 and Pro D2 competitions – will implement the measures as they attempt to curb spending of the country’s richest clubs.

Under the proposals, a salary cap of 8 million Euros will be implemented, with clubs having to hold 20% of their salary budget in reserve.

A quota on foreign players will also be introduced, meaning 40% of players would have to ‘home grown’. CLICK HERE to read more.

Update on Melbourne Super 15 saga

THINGS ARE not as bad at the Melbourne Super 15 franchise as first reported, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

It was revealed yesterday that the Australian Rugby Union may step in after funding disagreement between them and the VicSuper15 group threatened to leave the future of Australia’s first privately run franchise in disarray.

But ARU deputy chief executive Matt Carroll has denied claims the national body would take over team, while two of the consortium’s three major backers – Kevin Maloney and Harold Mitchell – have confirmed they will continue with negotiations. CLICK HERE to read more.