Super 14 launched in Australia




The Australian Rugby Union and Tooheys New officially launched the 2006 Tooheys New Super 14 in Sydney today, a week out from the start of the tournament’s biggest and brightest season yet.

Just seven days out from kick off, 16 of the game’s stars met the media and fans in a crowded Martin Place, to celebrate an historic and exciting milestone for rugby, marked by the launch of the new, expanded Super 14 competition.

The expansion from 12 to 14 teams means more action, more excitement and more entertainment for rugby and sports fans, the result of 25 more matches (up from 69 to 94) being added to the toughest provincial Rugby competition in the world, including 10 extra matches to be played in Australia.

On hand for the launch were players from Australia’s new Super 14 team, the Western Force – captain Nathan Sharpe, Brendan Cannon, David Fitter and Matt Henjak – who were joined by Stirling Mortlock, Mark Gerrard, Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper from the Brumbies; Elton Flatley, Chris Latham, Hugh McMeniman and Drew Mitchell from the Queensland Reds; Peter Hewat, Lote Tuqiri, Morgan Turinui and Phil Waugh from the NSW Waratahs.

Western Force captain Nathan Sharpe says the opening Australian match, and week one should set the tone for what promises to be a big season of Super 14 Rugby.

“The atmosphere in the West has been awesome and the launch here in Sydney has been no different,” said Sharpe.

“I know all the Force guys are looking forward to that first game against the Brumbies and then the clash at Suncorp between the Reds and Waratahs should be a cracker.”

As well as the chance to meet some of the stars of the game, the public enjoyed a live performance of “Gonna be there”, the theme song from the new Super 14 commercial, as well as the Tooheys New Tryslider, a giant slide.

The Tryslider will feature at Live & Kicking, a national rugby festival tour developed by Tooheys New as part of their support of Rugby at all levels.

The first tour date is next Saturday, February 11 at Pittwater Rugby Park and includes an amateur Sevens tournament, live entertainment by Thirsty Merc, and the Reds vs Waratahs blockbuster on the big screen. Entry will be free.

The 2006 Super 14 kicks off next Friday, February 10, with all four Australian teams involved in local derbies. Full coverage of the matches will be available through the official broadcaster, Fox Sports, with the majority of matches being shown live, including all games involving Australian teams.

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