Super Rugby Side ACT Brumbies CEO Doug Edwards Rips Anzac Day Schedule Change
Super Rugby side ACT Brumbies CEO Doug Edwards said the club has had the "rug pulled out from underneath" it by the local government's support for an Australian Football League game in Canberra on Anzac Day next year, as the "sporting turfwar in Canberra has erupted again," according to Wilson & Polkinghorne of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Edwards "threatened Super Rugby may even look to go head-to-head against the AFL and the Greater Western Sydney Giants, playing their Anzac match at the same twilight timeslot" on April 25. The Giants have announced they will "play an Anzac Day match at Manuka Oval next year, and the AFL club is campaigning for a heavyweight Melbourne club such as Hawthorn or Geelong." Edwards claims the Brumbies have "been pushed from their preferred Anzac Day timeslot to accommodate the out-of-town AFL team, criticising a lack of consultation from the ACT Government." The Brumbies are "set to play the Otago Highlanders in Canberra on Anzac weekend" when the Super Rugby draw is finalized in the next month, but the Brumbies "requested a Friday night match after advice that a Saturday game would conflict with a 100th anniversary commemoration of Gallipoli at the War Memorial that evening." The commemoration has since moved to Sunday, "enabling the AFL match to be scheduled." Edwards: "If we would have known there was an opportunity for us to play on the Saturday we would have pushed for that, we moved back to the Friday out of respect for what the War Memorial are trying to do. We thought it's 100 years of Gallipoli, the last thing we should be doing is competing against the War Memorial ... Then all of a sudden, up pops an AFL game on Anzac Day, it's bizarre." Edwards said he would consult with Super Rugby ruling body SANZAR on Monday and "did not rule out a scheduling clash." The 10-year-deal for the Giants to play three premiership games in Canberra has "caused angst among the territory's sporting clubs" (SMH, 8/9).