PRICE GETS AWARD

Former Australian rugby league Test prop Price has won a surprise award in New Zealand. Recognised for services to rugby league in New Zealand after playing 91 NRL matches for the Auckland-based Warriors and becoming the club's longest-serving captain, proud Queenslander Price was initially unsure whether he was eligible.

"I didn't know whether I was allowed to accept it," said Price, who represented Australia in 15 Tests and played 28 State of Origin matches for the Maroons.

"I actually said to the lady, 'You know, don't you, that I'm Australian?"

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RUGBY NINTH POPULAR AUSTRALIAN SPORT

A recent survey has concluded that Rugby is the ninth most popular sport in Australia. The sport of Rugby Union reached it's all time high of being Australia's fourth most popular sport in 2004 after Australia hosted the 2003 Rugby world cup and reached the final.

However since that time the sport has dropped to fourth to seventh and now to ninth in sports rankings over the past seven years.

A report by a brand analysis and research agency, Repucom says that when the 2007 Rugby world cup was taking place in France the sport had dropped from fourth to seventh.

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GOOD SCRUM TO KEEP AUSTRALIA ON TOP

After Australia's humiliating defeat of fans many pundits have predicted that the team could be even better with the good scrum. The Wallabies' record Test victory over France was the perfect example of that. Has there even been such a dramatic contrast between the first and second halves of a rugby match?
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In the first half, the Wallabies scrum was castigated by New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence over and over again, and suffered the indignity of a penalty try in the 30th minute.

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COOPER'S FUTURE TO BE DECIDED

Quade Cooper's future in the Australian Rugby Union team will be decided shortly, it has been revealed. The in-demand Wallaby fly-half is in the midst of delicate contract negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union, which is trying to head off huge bids to coax him into the NRL. Apparently one of the clauses is for England Rugby Tickets.

AUSTRALIA RUGBY FOCUSSED

Australia Rugby Union Team are aiming for back-to-back wins and thus shed their inconsistency record. Wallabies back Berrick Barnes, set to take over from suspended Quade Cooper at five-eighth for the Etihad Stadium clash, says in the past Australia has been guilty of "believing its own press".

"History has shown over the years, after a decent win, we get caught believing our own press," Barnes said.
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"We'll be focused pretty heavily this week on trying to rectify that and get back-to-back results.

DEANS TIPS CAUCAU

Australia coach Robbie Deans has talked up the return of flying Fijian winger Rupeni Caucaunibuca to international rugby ahead of their one-off test next week.

Caucaunibuca, who plays for French side Agen, is expected to make his first appearance for his country since November 2006 in Canberra Stadium on Saturday after saying he wanted to play in next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

"I've seen him do some remarkable things on the rugby field, things that no-one else in the world has ever done," Deans told the Australian Associated Press on Sunday.

Rugby Stadiums in World Cup Bid

Australian World Cup officials left for FIFA headquarters today confident that they have solved a long-running dispute should the country win the right to stage the 2018 or 2022 event.

The rival codes of Australian rules football (AFL), rugby league and rugby union have been digging in their heels and squabbling over allowing their stadiums to be used for soccer but a compensation deal has now been struck over vacating venues and re-locating.

Australia Ready for England

Melbourne will play host to another world-class rugby league clash when heavyweights Australia and England go head-to-head in a blockbuster at AAMI Park this October.

Joining coaches and players to promote the upcoming Four Nations Series at the stadium today, Sports Minister James Merlino encouraged Victorian sports fans to get in quick and reserve their seat for the October 31 clash against the Kangaroos’ old rivals.

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