Rugby Victoria reaffirms support of the Melbourne Rebels

Fri, May 17, 2024, 1:26 AM
Rugby Vic Media
by Rugby Vic Media

On behalf of the Victorian Rugby community, the Rugby Victoria Board of Directors would today like to express its unwavering support for the presence of both Men’s and Women’s Super Rugby Pacific teams in our state.

Playing host to professional rugby teams in Victoria not only enriches the game, but also contributes significant social and economic benefits to our community on multiple fronts:

Pathways for players

The presence of Super Rugby Pacific teams in Victoria provides a crucial pathway for rugby union players across the state, offering opportunities otherwise unavailable for a generation of players aspiring to reach the elite level of our game. Local Victorian rugby talent is imprinted across the Super Rugby Pacific competition with the likes of current Wallaby representatives Rob Leota, Jordan Uelese, Pone Fa’amausili, Rob Valetini, Ashley Marsters, Christian Leali’ifano and Pete Samu all calling Victoria home.

Promotion of Women’s Sport

The Super Rugby Pacific Women’s team in Victoria plays a pivotal role in promoting women’s sport, empowering female athletes, creating role models and fostering the next generation of local rugby talent. Victoria’s youth girls and women’s teams serve as key pathways to Victoria’s Super Rugby Pacific Women’s team.

Youth Participation

Across Rugby Victoria’s junior competitions, the aspirational goal of one day donning a Super Rugby Pacific Men’s or Women’s jersey serves as a beacon of inspiration for young athletes, encouraging them to continue playing rugby at an amateur level.

Community Exposure

The presence of Super Rugby Pacific teams in Victoria reaches over 743,000 dedicated rugby fans. These teams engage in community outreach programs such as player appearances, youth clinics and sponsorship events. Such engagements demonstrate the commitment of Super Rugby Pacific teams to making a positive difference throughout the broader Victorian community.

Victoria’s team – the Melbourne Rebels - over their 14-year tenure, have laid a foundation built on the support of a passionate and dedicated community, serving as the linchpin for rugby development not only in Victoria, but nationwide.

With landmark events such as the 2025 British and Irish Lions Tour and Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029 gracing Australian shores, now is not the time for a retreat strategy away from Australia’s home of sport. Instead, it serves as an opportunity to foster the next generation of Wallabies and Wallaroos stars, growing the number of Victorian representatives reaching the pinnacle of rugby. Victoria’s track record in drawing significant crowds to international games speaks for itself, most recently welcoming 86,000 rugby fans to the MCG in 2023 for the Bledisloe Cup.

“As members of Rugby Australia and the chief body of the game in Victoria, we strongly urge Rugby Australia to renew its commitment to Victoria, paving the way for the next generation of rugby talent in the largest potential growth market for our game nationwide.” Rugby Victoria President Elizabeth Radcliffe said.

“The vision of Rugby Australia as a Union is to inspire all Australians to enjoy our great global game.

“We encourage Rugby Australia to work with the consortium seeking to back the long-term future of the Melbourne Rebels, to ensure the continued presence of professional Men’s and Women’s rugby teams in Victoria.”


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