The Manly Daily has some great lines on the decision by the Brumbies to get the players involved in the local community when it’s time to play club rugby.
Instead of returning to their Sydney clubs when the Super Rugby commitments are completed, the players will be farmed out to Canberra outfits.
“We are extremely unhappy,” Begg told the Manly Daily.
“It is clearly detrimental to the Sydney club rugby competition, but more importantly it is detrimental to the development of these players.
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“Every time a player plays a game I would have thought it was important that he play at the best level he can – in my view the standard in Perth is better.
“The standard of club rugby in Canberra is no better than Kentwell Cup.”
The ruling means Manly will lose Michael Hooper, Andrew Smith, Robbie Coleman, Anthony Hegarty, Dylan Sigg and Jono Owen.
“We know where they want to play and none of them want to play in Canberra,” Begg said.
Also, apparently the Brumbies lack of shirt sponsor makes them inferior to the glories of Sydney rugby and we’re running a “Micky Mouse” [sic] competition.
One wonders if the sound and fury will come to anything.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Brumbies had this to say in reply:
“The primary concern of the Brumbies coaching staff is to make our club stronger. There is no benefit to our players traveling back and forth between Canberra and Sydney on a weekly basis. It makes monitoring our squad difficult and it will not be a process the Brumbies use in 2012.
“We believe the John I Dent Cup has the potential to be one of the strongest local club competitions in Australia and with 35 contracted Super Rugby players taking part in 2012 we are one step closer to making that happen. A strong local competition will inevitably attract top-class players to the Brumbies.
“Keeping Brumbies players in Canberra, playing Canberra rugby is good for the ACT community. The Brumbies want fans to be able to get to a local game on a Saturday and see the best talent the ACT has to offer on a weekly basis.