Brumbies, Vikings Group and University of Canberra to team up for National Rugby Championship

Canberra's National Rugby Championship team will set up an independent board for the new competition as the ACT Brumbies link with the Vikings Group and the University of Canberra in a three-way joint venture.

In a bid to minimise risk and spread the $300,000 cost of entering a team, the Brumbies, Vikings and university will team up when the competition gets the all clear from ARU officials.

The ARU board will meet on Friday and is expected to tick off on the third-tier competition, which is hoped to bridge the gap between amateur club rugby and Super Rugby.

The Canberra team will be known as the University of Canberra Vikings and will wear the Vikings' traditional red and white uniform with Brumbies' assistant coach Dan McKellar as the coach.

The team will also appoint an independent general manager while using the Brumbies' rugby program resources.

Interim Brumbies chief executive Doug Edwards will meet with university and Vikings officials on Friday to start finalising details.

"We've gone forward with our submission with the NRC committee on the basis it will be a separate entity [to the Brumbies]," Edwards said.

"It means there will be some financial contributors and there will be sponsors ... we think it's pretty doable without too much risk to any organisation.

"We're just getting our ducks in a row so we're ready to go when the ARU gives it the all clear. I think it's pretty exciting, it's exactly what Australian rugby needs."

The new Vikings team will give Canberra's best club players a chance to team up with Super Rugby players to help fast-track development and increase the Australian player pool.

The competition is expected to start in early August with up to 10 teams.

The ARU has also secured the conditional support of the Rugby Union Players' Association.

The Australian Rugby Championship was scrapped after one season in 2007 and lost $5million.

The Canberra Vikings played in the ARC and lost around $75,000.

To safeguard against potential big financial hits in the competition's inaugural season, the Brumbies, university and Vikings will pool resources.

"The plan is to form a totally separate entity and a separate board to run the organisation," Edwards said.

"That board will be made up of people from the Vikings, the university, the Brumbies and some people from outside so there's a bit of independence.

"They are all things we're working to try to get sorted in the next week or so."

The story Brumbies, Vikings Group and University of Canberra to team up for National Rugby Championship first appeared on Brisbane Times.

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