The Vikings Group will take over Canberra’s NRC team from the 2017 season, taking the financial responsibility away from the Brumbies.
Previously the group shared the ownership between the University of Canberra and the Brumbies, but the latter has opted to put its focus on the Super Rugby and more community rugby, with the Vikings the best club to take over the management of the NRC team.
Under the new ownership structure, the Vikings will be re-named the Canberra Vikings, a change from University of Canberra Vikings.
Negotiations have been running since late 2016 for the new ownership structure, putting the Vikings group in charge for the rest of the license agreement.
Brumbies CEO Michael Thomson said the Vikings’ move would keep the NRC team alive.
''This is a positive result for ACT and Southern NSW rugby,'' said Brumbies CEO Michael Thomson.
“The NRC team is an ACT and Southern NSW team through-and-through, a team for all Rugby Clubs in Canberra and the surrounding region.
“If the Vikings didn’t agree to get involved to this increased level, it could have put in jeopardy this established pathway for our talented rugby players and coaches.
“The decision by the Vikings Group to take the lead is very well received'.”
Vikings CEO Anthony Hill said it was an exciting challenge for the club.
“The pathway that the NRC provides for players and coaches is one of the most exciting aspects of this competition, an aspect we will continue to foster,” said Vikings CEO Anthony Hill.
“We are excited to showcase the quality of our local club players from all teams and provide grassroots rugby the chance to play on a national stage.
“Also with the inclusion of Fiji this year the competition starts to take on an international flavour.”