Rebels CEO wants new signing deadline - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rebels CEO wants new signing deadline

By Melissa Woods 15/02/2010 05:26:44 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Rebels chief executive Brian Waldron will plead for the new Super rugby franchise's player signing deadline to be brought forward when he meets Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill on Wednesday.

The former Melbourne Storm CEO, who started with the Rebels earlier this month, said the organisation was still taking a "conciliatory" approach to negotiations with the ARU over the deadline despite reports they were considering legal action.

However he said the owners of the Rebels, who are the only privately-funded Super rugby Australian franchise, had a right to "protect their interests".

Upon handing over the Super 15 licence to the Rebels in early January, the ARU imposed a May 31 deadline before the new franchise could sign Australian-based players in a bid to avoid a repeat of the pillaging of other Australian sides when the Western Force joined the competition.

The deadline is making recruitment difficult for the newcomers, who are still to land their first signature.

Eager to avoid a "stoush" ahead of his first meeting with O'Neill, Waldron played down the possibility of legal action.

"Being new into the chair from my point of view I'll be taking a very conciliatory approach to the ARU," Waldron said.

"There are certainly some issues that we have but at the end of the day we want to work with the ARU to make sure that we're highly competitive.

"We don't want to be doing anything but working through our concerns with the ARU.

"We don't see any need in having a public stoush about it."

Waldron said he hoped to convince the ARU that it would be in the code's best interests if Melbourne were as competitive as possible, hence the need for a new transfer deadline.

"To be successful, as the Storm and the Melbourne Victory have demonstrated, you need to be highly competitive so I'd anticipate the ARU will assist us, on a fair basis and give us every opportunity to be competitive like the other provinces."

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