Portfolio Australian Rugby - an alternative history

The_torpedo

Have a very Merhi Christmas
Sep 16, 2016
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logo portfolio.png


The year is 2019.

Australian Rugby has grown from strength to strength over the past 35 years, with junior numbers, public interest and team performance all spiking.

The Wallabies, considered one of the top teams in the world under the guidance of supercoach Ewen McKenzie, have consistently challenged for the coveted no. 1 ranking, and currently hold the Bledisloe Cup (having won it back in 2019, after losing it in 2018 follwing their drought-breaking victory the year prior). They are certain to be one of the major contenders in the 2019 Rugby World Cup to 'bring back Bill'.

The professional club scene is also strong, with Channel 10 broadcasting live to hundreds of thousands of (and even occasionally millions) of people each week. Representative football is also a big drawcard, with the Origin tri-series being one of the largest television sporting events on the Australian calendar.

Starting this season, Rugby Australia has signed a massive deal with NZ apparel manufacturer Canterbury to supply kits for the National, Sevens, representative and club sides.​
 

The_torpedo

Have a very Merhi Christmas
Sep 16, 2016
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The divergence point

In 1982, with the admission of the Canberra Raiders and Illawarra Steelers into the then-NSWRL, the ARFU (Australian Rugby Football Union) board held a crisis meeting, with the player drain for money looking set to intensify. The solution? One that shook the rugby world to its core - not only would the game in Australia become fully professional starting from 1984, but the big 3 club competitions - Queensland Premier Rugby, Shute Shield and John I Dent Cup to merge into an all-new, fully professional Australian Rugby Union League (ARUL). The rugby community overseas reacted with outrage, swiftly banning anyone who signed with an Australian side for playing for any other overseas team for life.

However, the then-IRFB head honchos would soon be proven fools, as rugby in Australia skyrocketed to heights never seen before, with playing standards being considered the best in the world. As such, prior to the 1986 season, in anticipation of the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, all IRFB members agreed to not only unban Australia (and remove all bans on overseas players), but also to declare the game professional. The South Pacific Championship was also founded in the same year, with the top 4 Australian and New Zealand (and after the end of aparthied, South Africa) sides battling it out in a pool-and-knockout tournament for the title of 'best club side in the Southern Hemisphere'.​
 

The_torpedo

Have a very Merhi Christmas
Sep 16, 2016
1,492
2,476
I have no idea
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Quite a few
The ARUL logo

au rugby logo.png


Inspired by contemporary trends towards minimalism in graphic design, the new logo for the Australian Rugby Union League represents the shape of a rugby football, slightly more squashed than the Rugby League and Australian Rules equivalents. The gold 'flash' on the upper left helps to further flesh out the shape of it, with the 'ARUL' text in the centre of the logo acting as an abstract representation of stiching often present on older footballs.​
 

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fumbler

Pick 54: Big Onions
Jun 28, 2012
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Cairns
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Richmond
Australian Rugby Union League.

An innocent bystander would believe League and Union had merged in Australia.

All the rest seems good so far
 

The_torpedo

Have a very Merhi Christmas
Sep 16, 2016
1,492
2,476
I have no idea
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Quite a few
So there will be no particular order to the teams, except 'foundation' (i.e. pre-merger teams) first:

Brothers

Brothers.png


The Brethren, coming off a strong year in the ARUL, will retain their classic navy-and-white butcher stripes jumper entering the 2019 season. Meanwhile, they saw a new clash released for the year, with the implementation of thin white hoops on a primarily navy base. The socks have also undergone a minor change, with the double butcher hoops being replaced with a single won. Led by superstars such as Taniela 'Tongan Thor' Tupou and the returning James O'Connor, the Filth look set to be one of the teams to watch for the upcoming season.​
 

The_torpedo

Have a very Merhi Christmas
Sep 16, 2016
1,492
2,476
I have no idea
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Quite a few
Sorry I was late guys, got caught up with life.

Brisbane Central

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With the professionalisation of Australian rugby in the mid-80s, the amatuer university sides faced a mild dilmmea -what should they name themselves? This was finally solved by the 'Red Heavies', suggesting they change their names to [City] Central - with Norths, Souths, Wests and Easts sides, it was only fair that there was a 'Central' side. The Heavies, or as they are still called occasionally the Students, coming off a somewhat poor 2018, look set to bounce back under the leadership of star flanker Adam Korczyk. The home kit was updated for the new millenium with an (at the time) atypical classic vee, with the pinstipe away being introducted for their 2012 premiership-winning side. However, over time, both designs aged extremely well, giving the Heavies one of the best looks in the comp.​
 

The_torpedo

Have a very Merhi Christmas
Sep 16, 2016
1,492
2,476
I have no idea
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Quite a few
Wests

Wests.png


Wests, while coming off a recently poor run since their 2006 win of the ARUL, look to be a possible smoky to join the elites of the competition. Led by Scott Higginbotham, the home jumper features the classic harlequin pattern (but with sleeves matching sides, and the clash is a good old-fashioned vee on a gold background.
 

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