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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Puckapunyal Rugby Club's potential windfall

Puckapunyal Rugby Club has the chance to snag $5000 in funding, just in time for the 2013 rugby season, which kicks off next month.

December 26, 2012 4:00am

RaboDirect executive general manager Greg McAweeney said they were pleased to be able to help out smaller country rugby union clubs financially.

‘‘Victorian clubs received almost $50000 in much needed funding from the program last year and we’re excited to bring back the Conversions for Clubs program this year,’’ he said.

‘‘It was so successful last year and further highlights our commitment to supporting Victorian rugby union at all levels.

‘‘We are encouraging local fans of the Puckapunyal Rugby Club to get involved and sign up for a RaboDirect membership to support their club and boost their chances of making the top eight this year.

‘‘These grants made a big difference to local clubs last year and we hope to alleviate some of their financial pressures again this season.’’

The program rewards the eight Victorian Rugby Clubs that sign up the most new members with a cheque for $5000, and the chance to earn an extra $200 for each successful conversion kicked by the Melbourne Rebels during a country game that will be scheduled early in the new year.

The rights to host a Melbourne Rebels home game is also a major drawcard for local rugby union fans.

All winning clubs will also receive a rugby union equipment prize pack and, even those who do not finish in the top eight, will also get a prize pack.

There are 25 rugby union clubs currently registered in Victoria, with the sport enjoying an increase in participation and club membership over the past few years.

Melbourne Rebels CEO Steve Boland said the program was also a great way to connect with the local Rugby community.

‘‘Who knows, we may unearth the next James O’Connor or Nick Phipps,’’ he said.

Gilbert brand manager Jon Clarke said it was vital to help clubs develop the next generation of rugby union players.

‘‘The more Rebels memberships your supporters sign up for, the greater the chance the Puckapunyal Rugby Club has to take home vital funds and equipment.

All Victorian Clubs, including those who previously won in 2012, are invited to participate in the program.

Memberships are available at www.melbournerebelsmembership.com.au

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