INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rugby Union?s New CEO Welcomed

Published: Mon 16 Dec 2002 01:16 PM
Rugby Union?s New CEO Welcomed
The dairy industry's loss is rugby's gain. Chris Moller's international experience and authority should help repair the damage of last year's debacle, ACT Sport and Recreation Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.
"I hope he gets his feet under the desk early. There are relationships to work on here too. The silver fern protection exercise could give the NZRFU a bad name for bullying inside New Zealand. The attempt to sneak a law change through Parliament, giving rugby's name and symbols the same status as royalty, has raised a lot of hackles," said Mr Franks.
"The protection could be innocuous in the end, but other fern mark users should have been consulted. There are 657 registered trademarks which contain images of ferns. Thousands of soldiers, airmen, cricketers and basketballers - among others - have worn the fern. At the very least, they want to know whether the Rugby Union is trying to claim ownership of something that should not be their exclusive property.
"If Chris Moller undertakes to consult with other codes and ensure they don't feel ambushed he will be making a good start to shifting the Rugby Union's image back in the right direction," Mr Franks said.

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