The below is a press release from the ARU announcing the start of the Australian Provincial Championship (APC) in Spetember this year. Yay for more Brumbies games.
Rugby has officially extended its season until the end of September with the announcement today of the draw for the Australian Provincial Championship (APC).
Traditionally the Rugby season has ended in October, but the APC will pit the four Super 14 teams, minus their Wallabies, against each other in a month-long competition throughout September.
The APC will give Super 14 players who have missed Wallaby selection the chance to play their way onto the Wallaby Spring Tour to the UK. It will also allow club players to step up and represent their State, with the view to securing a permanent Super 14 position.
The competition will also give Rugby a major presence on the sporting calendar at a time when it is usually dominated by the AFL and NRL finals.
The Brumbies, Waratahs, Reds and Force will play each other once, with the top two teams going through to the Final on Saturday 30 September. Points will be tallied under the same system as the Tooheys New Super 14 â€“ bonus points for four tries and losses by seven points or less.
The Brumbies will play both their home matches on a Friday night while the Waratahs will take their matches to Gosford and Bathurst. The Force have agreed to play their three matches on the road while the Reds have opted for a traditional afternoon kick off at Ballymore.
â€œThe Rugby World Cup kicks off 12 months after the inaugural APC, so this will give John Connolly and the selectors a good chance to see players who are either playing their way back into Wallabies contention or who have the potential to step up to the national level for the first time,â€ ARU CEO Gary Flowers said.
â€œApart from the benefits to the Wallabies, it also gives players the chance to make their State debuts and push for Super 14 contracts, at the same time as giving fans plenty of top quality Rugby throughout September.â€
2006 AUSTRALIAN PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday 8 Sept
Brumbies v Waratahs
Vikings Park, Canberra
Friday 15 Sept
Brumbies v Force
Vikings Park, Canberra
Saturday 23 Sept
Reds v Brumbies
Saturday 30 Sept
Final (1st v 2nd)