‘Battle of the Hemispheres’ back on agenda

BRAGGING RIGHTS: An annual fixture between the Super 14 and Heineken Cup winners is back on the agenda.

WHO IS the best club team in the world?

That question could soon be answered, with an annual match between the winners of the Super 14 and Heineken Cup back on the agenda.

According to website RugbyHeaven, England’s premier clubs are backing the concept of a  “battle of the hemispheres”, meaning the long-mooted game looks set to become a reality.

CLICK HERE to read more.

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Macqueen to coach Melbourne Rebels?

SPECULATION is mounting that former World Cup-winning Australian mentor Rod Macqueen is in line to become coach of the Melbourne Super 15 team.

Macqueen, who lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy with the Wallabies in 1999 and supported the city’s bid for inclusion in the expanded competition, is believed to be considering a position as a coaching director or head coach, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

But Melbourne Rebels franchise head Harold Mitchell is remaining tight-lipped on the subject. CLICK HERE to read more.

Another Asian Bledisloe on the cards

THE ALL Blacks and Wallabies look set to play another Bledisloe Cup test in Asia this year, according to the Australian Press Association.

But with the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the expansion of the Tri Nations to include Argrentina on the horizon, it could be the last time the teams play an additional Bledisloe test.

The announcment comes after the two sides played matches in Hong Kong in 2008 and Tokyo last year – both of which were won by the All Blacks. CLICK HERE to read more.

Melbourne Super 15 dramas sorted

MELBOURNE’S Super 15 franchise can begin recruiting players, coaches and administrators after the Australian Rugby Union and investors reached an agreement surrounding the team’s license.

The deal between the ARU and the Melbourne Rebels consortium ends months of dramas surrounding the venture, which came under threat after potential investors pulled out following financial and ownership disputes.

Under the agreement, the franchise will receive some loan funding from the ARU and be allowed to recruit up to 10 foreign players in its formative years, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Melbourne – which will be Australia’s first privately run team – will play its home matches at Rectangular Stadium when they join the expanded Super rugby competition next year. CLICK HERE to read more.

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.

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.