Melbourne Super bid

MELBOURNE - The Australian Rugby Union said yesterday that the southern city of Melbourne would be its sole candidate to host a new 15th team in the Super club competition.

MELBOURNE - The Australian Rugby Union said yesterday that the southern city of Melbourne would be its sole candidate to host a new 15th team in the Super club competition.

The proposed Melbourne franchise will have to fend off rival bids from New Zealand and South Africa for a place in the expanded competition from 2011.

ARU chief executive John O'Neill said Melbourne was chosen over applications from western Sydney and rural New South Wales, as well as the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast regions in Queensland. He said the ARU board decided that Australia's second-largest city had the best chance of success.

Super rugby's governing body Sanzar has ruled that the 15th team will play in an "Australian conference" with the country's four other Super teams. But it has also allowed New Zealand and South Africa to bid to base the team on their shores. Sanzar is expected to decide on the new team's location in late October.- Sapa-AFP

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