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Leading Australian Rugby Team, the Waratahs to play in Prague

20.7.2005 Czech Rugby Union Press Release: For immediate release

The Australian provincial rugby team from Sydney, the Waratahs, the finalists in last year’s prestigious Super 12 tournament, will launch their autumn tour of Europe in Prague. The first test will be against the Czech National Rugby side.

he following facts confirm the strength of the club side – 10 Waratahs turned out to play for the Australian national side last Saturday against South Africa (33:20 in front of a crowd of 70, 000 spectators). Many of those who represented the side in Johannesburg will be on the autumn tour.

Rugby in Australia is massively extensive, producing 100, 000 players. 120 of that number are fully professional, with 300 semi-professionals. Furthermore, the Australian club sides that participate in the Super 12 tournament allow only Australian nationals to play.

The Waratahs last year boasted a budget of 12 million Australian dollars (equivalent of 240 million kc). A net sum of 3 million Australian dollars was donated to the Australian Rugby Union for the development of youth rugby in individual provinces.

Last weekend, Prague welcomed the general manager of the Waratahs rugby union on his reconnaissance tour of the region.

Itinerary:

  • 3.10 Depart from Sydney
  • 8.10 Czech Republic – Waratahs (Prague)
  • 12.10 Romania “A” – Waratahs (Constanta)
  • 16.10 Romania – Waratahs (Bucharest)
  • 21.10 Russia – Waratahs (Moscow)
  • 26.10 Return to Sydney

Quotes:

Dave Gibson General Manager of the Waratahs

On the choice of coming to Prague:

“I am aware that the teams that make up the ME (Six Nations A) play a high standard of rugby. Therefore we have chosen this region to tour in because of the forecast of difficulty tests. I would also like to use this opportunity for the Waratahs to contribute to the development of rugby in Central and Eastern Europe.”

On the number of players:

“The higher volume of professional players depends not only on the results of the team, but the number of visitors to the region.”

The value of the Prague conditions:

“The accommodation completes our requirements, the stadium at Eden will be able to host a plethora of spectators and the players are expecting a very balanced game.. We’re also looking forward to the steeplechase in Pardubice!”

His reaction to the decision of the Olympic committee on not considering rugby as an Olympic sport:

“We are very disappointed at the recent decision of the Olympic Committee because our sport is very popular and wide-spread in today’s world. It is among the most prestigious sports in the world. The decision can have a very negative affect on the development of rugby throughout the globe amongst the young and old.”


Related links:

NSW Rugby Union:  http://www.nswrugby.com.auTour programme:  http://www.nswrugby.com.au/nsw/nsw.rugby/page/29487Czech Rugby Union Press Centre :  http://www.czechrugby.infoCSRU official website:  http://www.rugbyunion.czCzech rugby info portal:  http://www.rugby.cz

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Patrick Davidson
Mediální Sekce ČSRU 

Tel.: +420 257 53 2030
Fax.:+420 257 53 20 29
Mobile: +420 602 615 094

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