The Canberra Vikings will be relaunched with a new logo and a redesigned jersey for the second National Rugby Championship season in an attempt to ease any lingering tension in the capital's club rugby ranks.
But the team will still be predominantly red and white while also carrying a Viking as part of the logo as officials aim to grow the supporter base and capture the rugby community.
The Vikings' inaugural NRC season divided Canberra, with supporters angry with the team's links to the Tuggeranong Vikings and that it did not wear traditional ACT colours of blue, gold and white.
Concerned club presidents warned officials they would alienate rival Canberra clubs from supporting the team.
But the Vikings – jointly owned by the Vikings Group, the Brumbies and the University of Canberra – were the only team to turn a profit in the first NRC campaign, pocketing about $100,000 at the same time the Brumbies lost $1 million.
Brumbies coach and Wests junior Stephen Larkham hopes the moves to tinker with the Vikings' appearance will bring Canberra rugby ranks together for the second NRC season later this year.
"There was a bit of feedback when the Vikings were announced that certain people weren't happy," Larkham said.
"In terms of uniting the club competition, I think the changes are a good thing. I've seen the Canberra club competition grow over the last couple of years and I think it's in a healthy state at the moment.
"We've got some fantastic first grade club coaches ... the changes are a good decision and will unify the clubs even more."
Canberra club rugby tragics launched a petition last year in protest at the decision to name the team the Vikings and have red and white as colours.
The Vikings are the major financial backers of the team, which costs about $350,000 to run, and also support the Tuggeranong Vikings in the John I Dent Cup first-grade competition.
In a move to appease fans, the logo has been sent to a marketing agency to be redesigned with the Vikings, Brumbies and University of Canberra's logos to be incorporated.
Brumbies chief executive and Canberra Vikings board member Michael Jones has given a mandate for the new jersey to be a "cutting edge" design.
One of the stumbling blocks of changing the Vikings colours to blue, gold and white is the fact that six rival NRC teams already have yellow or blue playing kits.
The Vikings have been allocated red and white colours by the ARU for at least the first two seasons.
"Hopefully [the re-design] takes the jersey into more neutral territory ... we're trying to make it a modern team that has its own identity," Jones said.
"We'll do a variation this year to modernise the jersey and making it cutting edge. There will be a Viking but we want it to go forward so it has that relevance. We want something contemporary.
"Tuggeranong aren't driving this. They don't want the grief because they don't deserve it. They could put forward a bid for the NRC and the ARU made the decision to combine the bids of the Brumbies and UC with the Vikings."
Jones has also floated the idea of reincarnating the Canberra Kookaburras as a representative team for the club competition, providing another stepping stone into the NRC and potentially a Brumbies contract.
"That can blood some younger players as well and the clubs seem to love the idea of that. It will be discussed at the next Vikings meeting to see if that can be a feeder team [for the NRC]," Jones said.