ARU's Pulver: National Rugby Championship Won't Be Delayed Despite Concerns
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver has declared that "it is full steam ahead for the National Rugby Championship, despite growing concerns the project is being pushed through too fast," according to Georgina Robinson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Plans "to have the ambitious new third-tier competition up and running by August this year were hit this week with the resignation of one of the concept's chief architects." Some have suggested the NRC be delayed until next year, but Pulver "reiterated the ARU's commitment to see the competition kick off at the end of this year's Super Rugby season." Pulver said, "The timing may not be perfect for everyone, I acknowledge that. But we have to weigh up the reasons why we want to put this new competition on and there are clear strategic reasons why we want to do this." With a broadcast deal having been secured with Foxtel, "there are also commercial imperatives that require a crash or crash through approach, despite the tight time frame." Pulver said that "he was committed to giving Australian players a quality competition in which to play." Pulver: "It is an important missing link in player development in Australia at the moment. Do we really want to go another year without it?" (SMH, 3/6).