Australian teams put on Super Rugby notice
February 13, 2013
ARU CEO Bill Pulver faces the media at the launch of the 2013 Super Rugby tournament © Getty Images
Australia's five Super Rugby teams have been put on notice to improve this season, with Bill Pulver accepting the game has "lost a little bit of our core support base".
"Last year we came third, seventh, 11th, 13th and 14th, and frankly that's not good enough," the Australian Rugby Union chief executive said at the official Super Rugby launch in Melbourne.
"I would love to think one of our teams is going to win the competition and that all of them get inside the top 10. It feels like [the season has] been a long time coming, I think our five teams are very well advanced in their preparations and I'm looking forward to a really successful season."
Pulver conceded the 15-man code had lost die-hard fans in recent years, but he remained upbeat about the short-term future of the game.
"In some areas, to be frank, we've lost a little bit of our core support base and that's been reflected by slipping game attendances and declining TV ratings, but I think it's going to be very easy to get that back. With the right plans in place, I'm completely confident we can get this game growing again. I think we have a lot of opportunity ahead of us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton