John O’Neill
John O’Neill Getty Images

'Nothing wrong with Australian rugby'

AUSTRALIAN Rugby Union boss John O'Neill was on the defensive in Sydney yesterday.

O'Neill dismissed talk the Super Rugby Australian Conference was weak, and the Wallabies couldn't handle a hectic start to their Test season next month.

The Brumbies are the only Australian side in the top six of the competition, leading to suggestions there simply wasn't enough talent in the domestic game to support five teams.

O'Neill said the emergence of the Brumbies and recent results by the Rebels and Reds against the other SANZAR nations showed the Australian game was still strong.

"You want two Australian teams in the final six, but I'm very happy with the way they're all performing and putting in," he said.

The Test season starts against Scotland on June 5 - the Wallabies will then play three Tests on consecutive weekends against Wales.

O'Neill said he was sure the players would cope, pointing to rugby league's taxing schedule around State of Origin.

"There's a State of Origin game on, and a full round of NRL on the weekend, where a lot of the State of Origin players will back up," he said.


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