The ARU board have announced a “strategic decision” to pull out of the PNC and ARS competitions next year due to the financial climate.
This is not good news for those on the fringe of Test selection who in the past few years have had the opportunity to shine for Australia A against the likes of NZ Maori, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup. It also leaves our regional rugby mates in a bit of a pickle as PNC funds innevitably dry up.
The Australian Rugby Shield is a domestic comp contested by Adelaide, Darwin, Melbourne, Tasmania, NSW Country and QLD Country, and has been suspended till further notice. In all likelihood the players involved will move to Sydney/Brisbane for club rugby or more worringly could join their local AFL/Soccer team.
The timing of this announcement has the potential to be catostrophic for Australian Rugby, if it turns out to be related to Vodafone dumping the English and Welsh Cricket team, then we’re in for on hell of a rough ride.