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Unleash SANZAR XV on B&I Lions

Wed, 03 Jul 2013 13:04
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We're not very far down the track
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The Wallabies should team up with the All Blacks and the Springboks to tackle the British and Irish Lions, Australian Rugby Union Chief Executive Bill Pulver said Wednesday.

"I would love the idea if you could find a Southern Hemisphere combination," Pulver told reporters ahead of Saturday's series decider between the Wallabies and the B&I Lions in Sydney.

He said he would settle for an Australia and New Zealand (ANZAC) alliance to take on the Lions at Twickenham in 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated World War One Gallipoli campaign, which has become a defining symbol of courage and comradeship for the two nations.

But Pulver relished even more the prospect of the three Southern Hemisphere powerhouses uniting under a SANZAR banner to beat the best of the British and Irish.

"I'd even be happy with an ANZAC team," the ARU chief said.

"Take the best of Australia and New Zealand. A concept I would love to develop is - 2015 is the centenary of ANZAC Day. Imagine playing a combined Australia-New Zealand team against an allies team," he said.

"We're about to embark with the Australian Rugby Union on a strategic planning process and it really does invite a lot of creative thought to think of a Lions equivalent from the Southern Hemisphere."

However Pulver admitted that "we're not very far down the track at all in terms of discussion around that.

"Some of the countries in the Southern Hemisphere are actually concerned about the amount of rugby that their senior players are playing. So it needs to be addressed in that context."

Australia are playing 15 tests in 2013, with the Rugby Championship against New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina to follow the Lions series before the Wallabies embark on a five-Test tour of Europe in November.

AFP

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