League Notes: Australian Rugby Union In Talks For Sweeping Grassroots Reform
Rugby powerbrokers are "in the midst of the most sweeping review in the history of the school game" as the Australian Rugby Union seeks to "strengthen ties to its most fundamental building blocks and talent factories." Chaired by ARU Dir Paul McLean, the working party "aims to lay out the kind of blueprint for schools rugby never before seen in Australia, encompassing key issues like safety, fairness of competitions and pathways for students seeking to play the game professionally." Everything has been "put on the table," including the potential restructuring of traditional school competitions, extended seasons, ensuring adequate talent pathways for players "outside of the powerful GPS alliances in Sydney and Brisbane and the potential for better club-school interactions" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/7).
CLEARING THE AIR: The Australian Football League "will enjoy clear air during finals from a drug case that has haunted it for four years." The Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled 34 past and current Essendon Bombers players would incur 12-month suspensions for banned substance use, said that it "does not expect ultimate judgment on the matter until November, at least four weeks after this year's AFL grand final" (THE AGE, 9/7)