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SBD Global/July 4, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Rugby Union Boss Supports Creation Of Southern Hemisphere 'Lions'

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver "has supported the idea of creating an Anzac team to become a southern hemisphere equivalent of the British and Irish Lions," according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. Pulver said in Sydney that the Lions' tour "had been a phenomenal success" with about 390,000 spectators attending the nine games, including the third and deciding Test at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night, "which is expected to be a sell-out." Pulver said that he would "love to see a combined team from the southern hemisphere create the same kind of interest." Pulver said, "We have a cycle where you have a Lions tour one year, a World Cup one year and we've got sevens at the Olympics one year. In some ways there is an extra year that opens itself up to a couple of interesting concepts. It really does invite a lot of creative thought to think of a Lions equivalent from the southern hemisphere" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/4). The London TELEGRAPH reported Pulver said that he would like to investigate a way to mark the centenary of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZA) landings at Gallipoli in World War I, still remembered on April 25 every year in both countries. Pulver: "I'd even be happy to take the best of Australia and New Zealand. A concept I'd love to develop is around the centenary of ANZAC day in 2015. Imagine playing a combined Australia-New Zealand team against an Allies team, or a Lions team, though it probably couldn't be a Lions team" (TELEGRAPH, 7/3). BLOOMBERG's Dan Baynes reported the ARU wants the sport’s governing body "to review the appeals process" that placed Wallabies captain James Horwill in selection limbo before the series-deciding Test against the British and Irish Lions. Pulver described the process as “problematic” (BLOOMBERG, 7/2).
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