ACT Brumbies Super Rugby future secured

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Rugby Australia chief executive Phil Waugh confirmed a guarantee had been given to the ACT Brumbies organisation that plans for centralising the game's commercial operations in Australia would not affect the team's home base in Australia's capital.

The Waratahs were the first team to formalise their relationship with Rugby Australia as part of resetting rugby administration in the country.

There were fears when the scheme was announced that Canberra could lose its Super Rugby Pacific side.

But Waugh denied that prospect.

He said, "We've already given that guarantee, and that's been committed to the Brumbies.

"I've got a close relationship with [Brumbies] chairman Matt Nobbs and chief executive Phil Thomson, and we're making good progress.

"It's a bit noisy in the media, but I do feel like since the World Cup, and over the last couple of weeks, we've made better progress than we were three or four weeks ago.

"There's a lot to do, but I feel fairly optimistic about the direction we're going."

Waugh said there was a need to build trust with the ACT Brumbies, Rebels, Reds and Force. He was confident further announcements would be made soon.

For the Brumbies, that amounted to assuring them they would remain in Canberra and retain their intellectual property.

"Now it's about working through what a structure looks like from day-to-day management but overlaying and underpinning all of that building trust.

"We don't see it as a takeover.

"It's [about] integration, partnership and alignment. Some of the concerns around the location of the Brumbies are seen as a takeover, but we do not see it that way."

Waugh said the member unions and community owned rugby, not Rugby Australia.

"We're here to do the best we possibly can for rugby in the country, and that's about driving the high-performance elements as well as looking after our community game."

New Zealand-based teams who will play in Canberra next year are Moana Pasifika (March 22), Hurricanes (April 27), and Crusaders (May 18).