Whites protest 'Canberra Vikings'

THE Queanbeyan Whites rugby union club have confirmed their disappointment over the ACT Brumbies' decision to keep Canberra's National Rugby Championship team under the name and colours of the Tuggeranong Vikings.

The Tuggeranong Vikings have been the strongest and wealthiest club in ACT region rugby union for many years now, and the Brumbies, who overlook all local rugby union in the ACT and southern New South Wales, have opted to use a funding model that utilises the Vikings club.

As a consequence, the Canberra Vikings have been formed using the Tuggeranong club's name, and will wear red and white striped jersey's which also represents the colours of the Tuggeranong club.

The situation has sparked outrage from members of the other ACT region-based local clubs, who believe Canberra's NRC team should reflect the ACT region as a whole by avoiding the name of the Vikings and using the traditional ACT sporting colours of blue and gold.

"I don't think it's right," said Whites president David Jones.

Jones confirmed the presidents of each John I Dent Cup competition club met last week to discuss the issue, and said there was concern the Tuggeranong Vikings had too much influence on local rugby.

"I suggested it would be good will by the Vikings, who will be partly funding the NRC side, to put the money in and play under the ACT colours, but they didn't want that," he said.

The Canberra Vikings have existed in the past, with teams featuring the best John I Dent Cup players playing in the New South Wales competition the Toohey's New Cup in 2004-05, and the Queensland Premier Rugby Championship 2001-03 where they won each season.

The side reformed in 2007 for the single season of the Australian Rugby Championship, and is now alive again.

Jones said with the NRC team playing under Tuggeranong attributes, the Brumbies' were ridding much ACT support as many local rugby followers outside of Tuggeranong dislike the Vikings.

"There's no indication of them [Brumbies] changing their mind," he said.

"Any players outside of the ACT will only enhance the Vikings pulling power, that the better players will go there, because they will only know about the Vikings...it will be ver hard to attract players from outside the area to come and play with the Queanbeyan Whites."

The 11-week, nine-team NRC will act as Australia's domestic club rugby competition under the Super Rugby, and kicks off in August.

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