Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Melbourne Rising presented themselves to the Victorian community rugby

The event has been hosted in the premises of Harlequins Rugby Club, where the NRC team will train all the season long and the first 6 week of pre-training has been held so far.

Victorian Rugby Union director and Melbourne Rebels GM of Community Rugby Peter Leahy was the first to address the public made up from VRU clubs officials, Victorian Rugby Referee Association members and Melbourne Rising team members. Leahy praised, as often in the NRC teams presentation the creation of the new national competition as the coronation of the pathway from young players form School Rugby up to the Wallabies. He was proud to mention that Victorian rugby in the last 12 years has produced 23 national level players, in contrast with the seven in the twenty years before.

Melbourne Rebels' Rugby Operation Manager Baden Stephenson, who was involved in the first attempt to build a national competition in 2012 in Sydney, focused his speech on the community and clubs involvement and pointed out that the Rising are pursuing a family oriented pricing, with kids under 12 allowed for free at AAMI Park.
Stephenson was also very complimentary of the support of all Dewar Shield clubs and especially of Harlequins' the host of the night.

MC Pete Fairbairn then had a Q&A session with Head Coach Sean Hedger and with Prop Cruze Ah Nau.
The first was very pleased with the spirit of all players involved, from the initial 40 Dewar Shield selected as Rising prospects he choose 16 of them to be part of the team during 6 weeks of training and skills assessment. Hedger has opted for a mix of experience and youth in his group, knowing that youth and enthusiasm are not the only keys to success. The coach praised also the ease of the club and Rebels' players to mix and form a group already close.
Questioned about the style of play he will give to his team, without going into details, Hedger mentioned that the block of Rebels' players will facilitate the use of pre-existing schemes and that the new rules, intended to provide less stoppages and more speed to the game, well suit his style.
Cruze Ah Nau, who plays with Footscray when not on Rebel's duty, has said to be happy to have several team mates with him and that he is looking forward to the new competition.
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