Brumbies chairman Sean Hammond. Photo: Andrew Taylor
The ACT Brumbies have welcomed the proposed changes to the Australian Rugby Union constitution that would give a greater voice to rugby in Canberra.
A report compiled by former federal sports minister Mark Arbib suggested the ARU introduce an independent board and reduce the veto power New South Wales Rugby Union holds.
Under the proposal, which will be voted for at an extraordinary annual general meeting in December, the ACT would get two AGM votes of a total of 16, instead of the one out of 14 they now have.
NSW has five votes, Queensland three, with the other states and territories having one vote each.
That would change to one vote for each state and territory, plus a vote for each province with a Super Rugby team and an additional vote for a union with more than 50,000 registered players.
With a 75 per cent majority needed to pass changes, this would mean NSW no longer has the power to veto any proposal.
They would have three votes, Queensland three and the ACT two, with the remaining votes spread between the other states and territories and the Rugby Union Players' Association.
Brumbies chairman Sean Hammond said the changes were a step in the right direction and he was confident the power states of NSW and Queensland would pass the amendments next month.
He thought a possible amendment in the future would be to reduce the 50,000 registered players to 25,000 to give smaller unions like the ACT a realistic goal to aim for.
''If we wanted to nit-pick on a few minors issues there might be a few things there, but … overall, I think it's a good step,'' Hammond said.
''The only comment would be whether for a third vote 50,000 participants is a number - I think we have about 14,000 at the moment, so it's a fair jump for us to move to 50,000 participants to get that third vote, if that's something that we were striving for, and maybe a number around 25,000 would be something they could consider.''
Hammond said the ACT would also be better placed to nominate members to the ARU board. All but one of the nine-man board is taken up by NSW and Queensland nominees, with the remaining state unions having to fight it out for the final position.