Rugby in on Sydney-Melbourne grudge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rugby in on Sydney-Melbourne grudge

Caris Bizzaca 05/01/2011 02:46:46 PM Comments (0)

Sydney and Melbourne are set to face off in a new annual rugby grudge match.

The brainchild of the new Sydney Rugby Union, who take over the management of the Sydney club competition this month, the match has been scheduled as a curtain raiser to the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby home game against South Africa's Sharks on March 11.

Sydney Rugby Union chairman Chris Birch said the selection processes for both city teams would ensure an even battle.

"Melbourne will be using a lot of the players they've got who are on Super Rugby contracts who may not be playing in the main game," he said on Wednesday.

"Whereas our team will be chosen purely from the 12 clubs in Sydney."

The launch of the Rebels in the 2011 Super Rugby competition will give the game a huge boost in Victoria, Birch said, while the annual curtain raiser will give an "edge to intercity rivalry".

He said the match will give young Sydney players the opportunity to impress.

"This is to provide another platform for the grade players who play in the Shute Shield (Sydney club competition) who don't make a Super Rugby team to be able to ply their wares in front of a much larger audience," he said.

"(Then) later on this season, next season, all of these Super Rugby franchises will be looking for more players (and) it means a few of these fellas will to be able to show their wares in front the overseas clubs as well."

Birch said Sydney would select players who performed well last year as well as some experienced campaigners.

"(There will be) a few of the older players who have been there and done that but aren't doing Super football anymore, you know to help and give a bit of guidance to the younger fellas," Birch said.

He said several games were planned for the Sydney team in 2011, including the return of the traditional clash with Country, and future years could see midweek matches against touring international sides.

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