Rebels warned by rivals over recruitment - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rebels warned by rivals over recruitment

By David Beniuk 19/01/2010 07:08:55 PM Comments (0)

Australia's Super 14 sides have delivered a blunt message to new boys Melbourne - you've got your 10 international players, now play by the rules.

The call for the Rebels to respect Australian rugby's recruitment protocols comes a day after ARU boss John O'Neill warned the new team, which will join Super rugby in 2011, to toe the line.

A weekend report in a Melbourne newspaper said the Rebels had no intention of adhering to a ban on signing players from rival Australian teams before May 31 this year.

Melbourne officials have so far refused to refute that claim.

"What was discussed for some period of time before the licence was delivered to Melbourne was that the existing franchises would receive some protection for their existing players," Western Force CEO Vern Reid told AAP on Tuesday.

" ... I would have thought that all four of the existing franchises would agree with that position."

Certainly Queensland do, with new chief executive Jim Carmichael adamant Australia's player nurseries need protection.

"The things I'm seeing very much indicate from the ARU that they are trying to protect the integrity of the code," Carmichael told AAP.

"We get some comfort from that and we're a supporter of what they've done."

Brumbies CEO Andrew Fagan said he was "reasonably comfortable" with the rules.

The current Australian sides believe the concession for Melbourne that allows them to sign up to 10 overseas players - to the other provinces' two - compensates for the Rebels having to wait before signing Australian stars.

"I wouldn't mind having a free go at 10 guys from overseas before I started to fill in other spaces (with) Australian players, so it would seem to me the balance is pretty right," Reid said.

Fagan added: "There's probably greater challenges for Melbourne although they do have the concession of a larger number of overseas players."

The Brumbies boss said a franchise would be biting the hand that feeds it if it flaunted the ARU's rules.

"They're our governing body providing significant funding for each of the bodies," he said.

"If any province wants to go against a set of protocols or rules or practices that the ARU have in place then I think they'd do so at their own peril.

"These contracts are all three-party contracts, the ARU are a signatory to all of them so the ARU will not be signing off on any contract prior to that deadline.

"Any player who wishes to have a conversation prior to that will be doing so in an invalid way with an unenforceable contract, so that's the risk they might want to take if they enter into agreements with Melbourne prior to that date."

Reds boss Carmichael is confident there will be no repeat of the Western Force's plunder of Queensland's talent in 2005.

"I come from a background where the governing body is the governing body," he said.

" ... I don't have a fear because my view is that you don't ignore what's been agreed and what the governing body say.

"I'm trusting that the protocols will be governed correctly and the right level of pressure will be put on anyone that looks at breaching that."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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