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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.

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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.

New Aussie Super 15 team in doubt

THE FUTURE of the Melbourne Super 15 franchise is in doubt after negotiations between investors and the Australian Rugby Union stalled.

The Australian Associated Press is reporting members of the VicSuper15 group and the ARU failed to reach an agreement about funding.

The ARU is offering the team an annual grant of A$3 million – up from the originally-offered $2.1m – but investors say that amount is insufficient to cover the set-up, player recruitment and marketing costs associated with the venture.

They are pushing for a $4.2 million grant which the existing Australian franchises receive. CLICK HERE to read more