How do you talk up a new rugby competition in which there’s not much interest? Talk about new rules instead.
That’s pretty much what happened with the official launch of the Australian Rugby Championship yesterday and it worked. Well, there’s not much else anyone wants to say about the ARC.
The alternative is an analysis of the extremely difficult task ahead in generating much interest in the ARC beyond the players and their friends and family.
The ARC – an eight-round competition starting next month for newly-created teams from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, NSW’s cental coast, eastern and western Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth – is kicking off at a particularly inauspicious time for attracting rugby rear ends to seating.
The ARU is trying the line of "see tomorrow's Wallabies today" but not too many folks have been interested in seeing current Wallabies this year. The poor performances of NSW and Queensland meant miserable Super 14 crowds, the Australia A matches were embarrassments and there have been plenty of spare seats at the Wallabies’ matches.