Quaffers: 3km beer pipeline in Belgium planned

Belgian plans to build a three-kilometre beer pipeline ups the ante in the age-old conundrum of keeping beer lines clean. If some pubs struggle to keep a few metres gleaming inside, how is the De Halve Maan brewery to manage three kilometres?
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In late September, De Halve Maan announced plans to build the underground pipeline from its brewery within the mediaeval city of Bruges to its bottling plant on the outskirts.

The brewery expects the pipeline to deliver 6000 litres an hour, with the beer taking 10 to 15 minutes to travel from the brewery to the bottling plant.

The brewery didn’t state the diameter of the pipe. But a 50mm pipe would hold about 6000 litres of beer, by my estimate.

The brewery expects the pipeline to remove an estimated 500 lorries a year (about 85 per cent of truck traffic) from the narrow streets of the old city.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen ★★★★½ 355ml $3.65 America’s Sierra Nevada brewery captures the Bavarian wheat beer style extremely well. The abundant white head, yeast haze and fruity-spicy aroma encourage a big mouthful. The palate delivers on the promise, with flavours reflecting the aroma and a smooth, full palate, cut with zesty, lemony freshness.

Croucher Brewing Company Pilsner ★★★★½ 330ml $6.21 Thirty years after visiting Rotorua, certain aromatic memories linger on. Fortunately, Rotorua’s beer heads down an entirely more pleasant path, led by the wonderfully pungent, fruity notes of two New Zealand  hops varieties – Motueka and Riwaka. The full, sweet, malty palate is classic pilsner, as is the assertive, lingering hops bitterness.

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Chris Shanahan’s wine reviews, October 8

Lark Hill Gruner Veltliner 2014 Lark Hill Vineyard, Lake George Escarpment, Canberra District, NSW $45 Four-and-a-half-star/96
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Even in the difficult 2014 season, Austrian variety gruner veltliner made an outstanding wine at Canberra’s highest vineyard. The Carpenter family call 2014 “one of the most challenging vintages to date”. Frost and unsettled spring weather disrupted flowering, reducing the crop. But what remained of the gruner veltliner, say the Carpenters, successfully weathered the hottest, driest summer and wettest autumn on record. Spontaneously fermented in older oak barrels, the wine offers aromas of spice and melon and a richly textured palate with unique flavours reminiscent of spice, herbs and melon rind. Steely acidity accentuates the flavours, gives a long finish and suggests a medium to long cellaring life.

Serafino Sorrento Shiraz 2013 McLaren Vale, South Australia $18–$20 Three-and-a-half-star/88

Steve Maglieri’s mid-priced shiraz looked good at a recent tasting alongside several more expensive wines, including the remarkable d’Arenberg Dead Arm McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010 ($65). Not surprisingly, tasters preferred the powerful d’Arenberg wine. But for less than a third of the price, Serafino gives the more-ish, ripe and earthy flavours and soft, savoury tannins of McLaren Vale shiraz.

Madfish Premium White 2013 Great Southern and Margaret River, Western Australia $13.30–$18 Three-and-a-half-star/88

Behind the vague “premium white” name lurks a decent dry white, made mainly from chardonnay grown in very good Western Australian vineyard regions. The wine shows the bright, fresh, citrus-like flavours of chardonnay fermented in stainless steel, rather than oak barrels. Although semillon comprises just  4 per cent of the blend, its presence shows in the aroma and, to a lesser extent, in the zesty, smooth-textured palate. Madfish is the budget brand of the Burch family’s Howard Park Wines.

Freeman Nebbiolo 2012 Freeman Altura vineyard, Hilltops, NSW $35 Four-star/94

In 2012, Brian Freeman coaxed something wonderful out of Piedmont’s noble and notoriously difficult red variety, nebbiolo. He writes, “Five years ago we decided to graft nebbiolo onto dry-grown 40-year-old pinot noir vines, effectively tapping into amazing vine maturity. Subsequently, the ideal 2012 season produced low yields of fully ripe nebbiolo grapes with exceptional flavour and balance”. The wine shows nebbiolo’s typically pale colour, floral and savoury aroma and taut, firmly tannic, medium-bodied palate. Delicious, ripe-fruit flavours push teasingly through those tannins ahead of the firm, savoury, lingering finish. This is an elegant, distinctive red well removed in style from Australia’s generally fleshy styles.

Mount Majura Vineyard Shiraz 2013 Mount Majura vineyard, Canberra District, ACT $32 Four-star/92

In a recent masked tasting of 2013-vintage Canberra shirazes, Mount Majura was one of the deepest coloured, fullest bodied and, at 15 per cent, probably one of the most alcoholic of 21 wines. In that fairly rushed tasting I ranked it about bronze medal standard, with the caveat that wines of this dimension require bottle age. A week later judges at the local show perhaps felt the same when they awarded it a bronze medal. However, a more leisurely tasting, with the bottle open for a few days, revealed a big but harmonious wine with great depth of bright, spicy fruit flavour and silky tannins. Based on that tasting, I’m shifting up to a silver medal score and suspect the wine will distinguish itself after more bottle age.

Hardys The Chronicles Butcher’s Gold Shiraz 2012 McLaren Vale, South Australia $15.99 Three-and-a-half-star/88

Hardys is now part of Accolade Wines, controlled by Champ Private Equity, and headquartered at Reynella, South Australia, home of the former Hardy Wine Company. Reynella is next door to McLaren, where Thomas Hardy founded Hardys in 1853. That the winemakers know a little about McLaren Vale shiraz shows in this delicious new Butcher’s Gold release. It’s a rich, full red wine, built on ripe, earthy shiraz flavours with the savouriness and soft but pervasive tannins we expect of the region.

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Packer to buy share in Rabbitohs

James Packer is set to finalise the purchase of Peter Holmes a Court’s share in the South Sydney Rabbitohs, completing a dramatic week in which the club won its first premiership in 43 years.
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The billionaire casino mogul, whose company Crown Resorts is the major sponsor of the Rabbitohs, has been linked with a possible buyout of Holmes a Court’s 37.5 per cent stake in Souths for nearly a year.

With Michael Maguire’s team having won Sunday night’s grand final in fairytale fashion a deal could now be announced within days, allowing Packer to join close friend Russell Crowe as joint 75 per cent shareholders in the foundation club.

The Crown chairman did not attend the grand final, having been required in China on business, but his anticipated entry into Souths is another huge boost for a club with designs on creating a modern-day dynasty.

Holmes a Court and Crowe paid $3 million for their stake in Souths in 2006 and the terms of the sale to Packer were unclear on Tuesday, although a weekend report listed the value of the rejuvenated club at $20m.

There has been persistent speculation that Holmes a Court, now based overseas, has intended to part with his share of the Rabbitohs and it appears with the club on far more firm financial ground than when he bought in, and with a premiership trophy in the cabinet, he believes the time is right for him to walk away.

Packer is a lifelong Sydney Roosters fan, although his late father Kerry supported Souths, and his bond with Hollywood actor Crowe has led him to first a major sponsorship of the Rabbitohs and now what is expected to be ownership.

The deal would seal Souths’ status as not only premiers but financial heavyweights of the competition. While Crowe and Packer would own 75 per cent of the club Souths’ members own the remaining 25 per cent.

There appeared a potential hiccup in negotiations when Crowe labelled Crown Resorts chief executive Rowen Craigie a “pelican” on Monday morning after suggestions the Packer lieutenant had supported Canterbury in the grand final.

“Rowen Craigie needs to start looking for another job. You pelican”, Crowe said on Twitter in a post that was later deleted.

Craigie later said insisted he had been supporting Souths on Sunday night and his comments about the Bulldogs pulling off a possible upset were misconstrued.

Early Wednesday afternoon, Holmes a Court released a statement confirming the planned transaction: “There are negotiations underway for the purchase of my 37.5% share in the South Sydney Rabbitohs. I am proud to have played a part in the team’s great victory on Sunday and expect the club to go from strength to strength in coming years. I will not be making any further comment at this stage.”

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Manly caught in police phone probe

There could be huge ramifications should it be proven Sea Eagles staffers staff members knowingly accepted or distributed stolen goods. Photo: Craig GoldingManly players and officials will be interviewed as part of a police investigation, after mobile phones that went missing from a telecommunications business allegedly came into their possession.
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Fairfax Media can reveal detectives from the fraud and cybercrime squad have formed Strike Force Kempt to investigate the misappropriation of more than 100 handsets from a Sydney business.

Detectives plan to interview a number of current and former Sea Eagles players and administrators about the matter, which may have resulted in them receiving stolen phones. It’s understood the items first went missing about six years ago.

The interviews will be conducted in the off-season with players and officials.

When approached for comment, the NSW Police media unit said in a statement: “For investigative reasons, no further information can be provided at this time.”

Manly boss Dave Perry declined to comment when contacted on Tuesday night.

At this point, Manly players and officials are merely witnesses to a potential crime.

However, there could be huge ramifications should it be proven Sea Eagles staff members knowingly accepted or distributed stolen goods.

The Australian Rugby League Commission has the power to suspend, fine or deregister players and officials who bring the game into disrepute. It’s understood the issue has been referred to the NRL’s integrity unit, although it’s likely the governing body will wait for the police to present its findings.

In relation to criminal proceedings, the NRL’s code of conduct states: “Where the breach of a provision of this code involving a player or a club official has occurred, and the conduct constituting that breach is the  subject of a police investigation or criminal proceeding, the chief executive officer shall not proceed against that player or club official pursuant to part 2 of the NRL rules until the conclusion of that investigation or proceeding, as the case may be, unless the chief executive  officer forms the view, in his absolute discretion, that it is appropriate to do so.”

It’s unclear how long it will take for the investigations to be completed, but as several current players and officials have gone on holidays it is expected there will not be a resolution for some time.

The development is the latest drama that has hit the Sea Eagles. Manly has this year performed well on the field, making their 10th consecutive finals appearance before being knocked out by the Bulldogs in a thriller. However, the playing group has been beset by internal dramas, stemming primarily from the club’s decision not to offer veteran forward Glenn Stewart a contract extension. The issue has caused players to revolt, and several have threatened to leave. 

As revealed by Fairfax Media last month, Anthony Watmough is poised to join Parramatta and could do so as soon as next season if he is granted a release from the final year of his contract.

While contracted for next year, there is still uncertainty surrounding the futures of other star players, including Brett Stewart and Steve Matai. Playmakers Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans are already in the sights of rivals, who are hoping to swoop for their services in 2016. Further complicating matters is a schism between some players and management.  There has also been in-fighting at board level, which has further destabilised the club off the field.

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A tale of two towers: One Melbourne apartment proposal is loved, the other is a ‘shocker’

An artist’s impression of the proposed Lorimer Street tower.These two planned residential towers are designed by the same architect, yet one is loved and one is loathed by the city’s planners.
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Melbourne councillors have declared they like nothing about Southbank’s latest apartment proposal, dubbing it “a shocker”.

But, just a short trip across CityLink, a soaring 236-metre tower on the south side of the Yarra has been held up as the gold standard for new developments in Fishermans Bend.

Both are designed by architecture firm Elenberg Fraser.

“Sometimes you wonder about who’s pushing what to get the outcome that we get,” Melbourne City Council’s planning chair Ken Ong said.

The highly-disliked proposal for 248 Sturt Street in Southbank has been submitted by Hudson Conway, the company owned by racing identity Lloyd Williams.

More than two times over the preferred height limit, the 46-level building will overshadow a nearby public park bordering King’s Way.

Council officers hold major concerns about the design of the “overwhelmingly dominant and intimidating” building, which would be constructed up to the block’s boundaries at ground level and, they say, impose an “unfair burden” on neighbouring properties.

The planning experts found most of the apartments were of poor standard, noting some relied only on borrowed light and had no access to fresh ventilation.

Lord mayor Robert Doyle said it was difficult to find anything good at all about the proposal. “Height, massing, scale, internal configuration, sustainability, the amenity of the arts precinct … it fails miserably on all of those and should be rejected,” he said.

Councillors instead reserved their rave reviews for 74-level plan for 900 apartments at 85 Lorimer Street. It was proposed by inner-city developer Little Projects, founded by Essendon Football Club chairman Paul Little.

The key selling point of the project is a 2370 square metre public park, more than two thirds of the size of City Square, which will be handed over to the council in lieu of developer contributions. Little Projects have also promised to allow space for an elevated tram route and new laneway along the site’s boundaries.

Cr Arron Wood said the tower proposal set a positive tone for the pocket of the Fishermans Bend precinct.

“This development shows that height is not necessarily bad, as some people may think, when done correctly with the right setbacks,” he said.

A final decision on both projects will be made by the minister for planning or the Metropolitan Planning Authority.

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Bowlers  to  team  up  for  Dot  Jenkinson  pairs  event

Eyes on the ball: City Oval’s Kerry Watts follows a shot against Midlands in Ballarat District Bowls Division midweek pennant division one on Monday. PICTURE: KATE HEALY
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BALLARAT District Bowls Division will have a strong representation in a feature women’s tournament in Mildura tomorrow and Friday.

Some 40 Ballarat bowlers will take to the greens for the 18th annual Dot Jenkinson pairs event.

Ballarat mother and daughter combination Glad Gullock and Jenny Shepherd were victorious last year and the Ballarat contingent is determined to secure the title again.

SEBASTOPOL’S Ian Warner is also on the road.

He is in Tweed Heads representing Victoria in the over 60s men’s state finals.

BALLARAT Gold Diggers have a couple of training sessions already under their belt, but the junior squad still has room for more players wanting to take up the sport.

No experience is necessary.

The program offers free skills coaching.

If you or anyone you know is interested, the next training session is at Webbcona on Sunday, October 19, 10am-noon.

There were big wins, close wins and two draws to start the 2014-15 weekend pennant season.

A few nail-biters will launch the BDBD pennant season on Saturday.

In premier division, Victoria won a nail biter by one shot.

All up, 17 teams across all division won by less than 10 shots.

CRESWICK, City Oval and Central Wendouree remain undefeated after two rounds in BDBD midweek pennant after Monday.

Ladders:Division 1: Creswick 30, City Oval 30, Central Wendouree 30, Midlands 16, Avenue 16, Webbcona 16, Smeaton 14, Daylesford 4, Sebastopol 4, Mt Xavier 0

Division 2: Creswick 32, Victoria 30, BMS 28, Beaufort 16, Cent Wendouree 14, Clunes 14, Ballarat North 14, Daylesford 4, Sebastopol 4, Avenue 4

Division 3: Buninyong 30, Central Wendouree 28, Invermay 27, Learmonth 18, Sebastopol 16, Midlands 16, Linton 16, BMS 16, City Oval 15, Smeaton 6, Webbcona 4, Daylesford 0

Division 4: Mt. Xavier 31, Clunes 30, Creswick 18, Victoria 18, Ballarat 17, Smeaton 16, City Oval 16, Invermay 15, Sebastopol 15, Cent Wendouree 14, Midlands 2

SATURDAY pennant ladders after found one:

Premier: Sebastopol 16, Geelong West 16, Lara 16, Victoria 14, Central Wendouree 4, Webbcona 4, Queenscliff 2, Bareena 2, Avenue -, Ocean Grove –

Division 1: Creswick n16, Ballarat 16, Ballarat East 16, Buninyong 14, BMS 9, Learmonth 9, Mt Xavier 4, City Oval 2, Smeaton 2, Daylesford 2

Division 2: Midlands 18, City Oval 16, Victoria 15, Waubra 14, Linton 14, Clunes 4, Central Wendouree 4, BMS 3, Webbcona 2, Sebastopol 0

Division 3: Avenue 18, Beaufort 16, Ballarat North 16, Webbcona 16, Learmonth 14, Central Wendouree 4, Ballan 2, Sebastopol 2, Creswick 2, Victoria 0

Division 4: Midlands 16, Ballarat 16, Sebastopol 14, Daylesford 14, City Oval 4, Ballarat East 4, Buninyong 2, Victoria 2, Mt Xavier 0, Smeaton 0

Division 5: Invermay 18, BMS 16, Central Wendouree 16, Avenue 16, Midlands 14, Victoria 4, Sebastopol 2, Linton 2, Mt Xavier 2, Webbcona 0

Division 6: Victoria 18, Buninyong 16, BMS 16, City Oval 16, Ballarat East 10, Ballarat North 8, Beaufort 2, Webbcona 2, Sebastopol 2, Clunes 0

Division 7: Midlands 18, Smeaton 16, Learmonth 14, Ballarat 14, Creswick 14, Bungaree 4, Sebastopol 4, Waubra 4, Central Wendouree 2, Linton 0

Division 8: BMS 18, City Oval 17, Daylesford 16, Invermay 16, Webbcona 16, Avenue 2, Sebastopol 2, Buninyong 2, Bungaree 1, Midlands 0

Division 9: City Oval 16, Invermay 16, Victoria 16, Ballan 14, Learmonth 2, Ballarat East 0, Beaufort 0, Ballarat North 0

BDBD women’s over 60s singles draw for Webbcona. Next Tuesday:

9.30am: S.Grano, E. Bennett, J. Roberts, L Taylor, J. Harman, M. Blake, J Hendy, J.Earl, J.Vincent, J.Toose, R.Armstrong, G.Burge, C.Helmore, J.Shepherd, R.Ryan, J. Rhook, T.Speechley, D.Mahony.

Byes required at 11.30am: B. Dixon, C.Mahony, M.Cassells, J. Eldridge, H.Williams, S.Woolcock, M.Curtis.

THE BDBD over 60s singles championship will be played tomorrow.

• Sarah Braybrook and Brett Collins are BDBD publicity officers

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Fire season could start in coming weeks

THE 2014 fire season could start as soon as the end of October, prompting the CFA to urge residents in the region to prepare their homes.
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CFA Grampians Regional Commander Mick Harris said a dry winter had lead to an increased fire risk particularly to residents on the outskirts of Ballarat, farming properties and surrounding towns.

Mr Harris lead the pre-season briefing at the Buninyong Golf Club on Tuesday, which was attended by relevant agencies and bodies including Victoria Police and DEPI.

He said a drier than average winter had led to predictions of an early start to the fire season.

“Further to the west in the Mallee, we look at it starting later this month or early November,” Mr Harris said.

“The immediate Ballarat area, we are looking at mid to late December.

“What that will mean is we will have an above-average fire season. In the last few weeks we have had some very strong temperatures with strong winds.”

The briefing was one of 17 in Victoria to make the state fire-ready.

Mr Harris said many lessons had been learnt from the 2013-2014 fire season, including the CFA’s first large-scale evacuation.

“The evacuation of Halls Gap last season was the first large-scale evacuation ever where we evacuated several hundred people,” he said.

“We are sharing what we learnt out of that experience today with other agencies.”

He said communication on the fire ground was a major focus of the briefing.

“We will focus on the transfer of control from fire centre to incident control centre and then from one to another,” he said.

“It’s also a transition from the response phase to recovery.

“It needs to be seamless. We are not only putting out the fire and protecting people, we are working with agencies to move people back to normal.”

For more information on preparing your home for the fire season, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au

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Mixed views on push for casual employees

Launceston Sport and Surf employees Hayley Van Den Tol, Emily Howard and Yasemin Ucdereli are able to approach their boss Kathryn Fox to negotiate their employment conditions.THE Launceston Chamber of Commerce says a union push to allow casual workers the benefits of permanent employees is good in theory – but not necessarily the right fit for every business.
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The Australian Council of Trade Unions will make a submission to the Fair Work Commission to have a clause introduced into modern awards that would allow casual staff to become permanent employees.

ACTU president Ged Kearney told the Sydney Morning Herald it was unfair that casual employees who worked regular shifts and rosters missed out on sick leave and annual holidays, arguing that the changes would ‘‘recognise people who are permanent workers in everything but name’’.

Launceston Chamber of Commerce chief Maree Tetlow said in many instances it would be to the advantage of employers to make their staff permanent.

‘‘But it just depends on the job and the business, the economic environment of the time – there are a number of factors involved and I don’t think you can just throw a blanket over it all,’’ she said.

‘‘It certainly is up to employers to have a positive working environment for employees, but whether you’re permanent or not, in the current environment there is no total security, business owners included.’’

Launceston Sport and Surf owner Kathryn Fox said the most important thing was for her and her staff to have open communication and understanding about employment conditions.

‘‘At the end of the day, the cost to our business (of making casuals permanent) wouldn’t be that great – but our experience is that a lot of the employees would rather stay casual and receive higher rates.’’

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Bird keen to again let the ball fly

Tasmanian paceman Jackson Bird is working to get back on the field after a frustrating back injury. Picture: SCOTT GELSTONJACKSON Bird just wants to play cricket again.
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It’s as simple as that.

Whichever level it is not really that significant for him, he just wants to be able to bowl.

Stress fractures in his back ended his tour of India last year, with more back pain doing the same to his Ashes tour, then jarred his back playing for the Melbourne Stars in January, before the injury then forced him out of his county contract with Northamptonshire.

‘‘I was probably rushed back twice to get ready for some tours, which hampered my injury a little not having that proper rest,’’ Bird, who has taken 115 first-class wickets at 20.48 in 24 matches, said in Hobart last week.

‘‘But that was something that Cricket Australia wanted to do, and it is also something that I wanted to do, so I’m not upset about that, because I got to go play in the Ashes and got to tour South Africa.

‘‘But this time I am taking it slower, as there was not as much cricket that I would have missed out on.’’

When he will be seen again in Tasmanian colours is very much up in the air.

‘‘It is a wait and see sort of thing, and we need to see how I’m going in the next couple of weeks, especially with my technical stuff and whether I can keep that all in place when I get back to going off the full run.

‘‘We’ll see how that goes over the next couple of months, and hopefully I can come out and play for Tassie before Christmas, but it is a week-by-week thing at the moment, but doctors are very confident this will be the last time that this is going to happen.

‘‘I’m in the gym now and running, and slowly starting to increase that sort of stuff, and I’ve also been bowling for about three or four weeks now, which is a good sign.’’

Bird, who has taken 13 wickets in his three Tests at 23.30 recently signed a three-month county deal with Hampshire, which he hopes will provide him with solid preparation if he is part of Australia’s Ashes touring squad next year.

‘‘I expect the wickets to have a little bit more in them in this Ashes series now they [England] don’t have [off-spinner] Graeme Swann playing for them

‘‘But my focus is playing for Tassie and making sure that I can get my back right, as I can’t afford to get injured again.

‘‘If I do get back on the park and start bowling well again, there’s no reason why I can’t make the Ashes next year, but there’s a lot of cricket before that happens.’’

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Aussie 15s may see stars

THIS year’s Aussie 15s competition is likely to see more marquee players in action, it was confirmed yesterday.
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After a successful first year last season, the cricket competition run under modified rules will again be back in action on Aurora Stadium’s drop-in wicket during November and December.

Organiser Tim Coyle said yesterday that plans were in place to bring more high profile players to the competition, on the back of the successful appearance of former Test captain Ricky Ponting last summer.

However, with only five NTCA A-grade sides this year with George Town not having enough players to field a team at that level, there will be an invitational team, which will have the backing of Sporties. The Royal Oak will back the Launceston-aligned team this year, who were aligned with Sporties last year, with the Metz, who were connected with George Town, not involved.

The Aussie 15s will begin with a gala day on Sunday, November 23, which will see all six teams in action.

This will be the weekend before the state women’s team, the Tassie Roar, makes its first appearance at the ground.

The NTCA Twenty20 grand final will also be played at the venue, after the second of the Roar’s T20s on November 30 at 2.30pm.

There will be two Aussie 15s matches on December 3, two more matches on December 10, before the grand final on December 18.

AUSSIE 15S ROSTERSunday, November 23

2.30pm: Alchemy All Stars v Sporties Legends.

5pm: Star Bar Slashers v TRC Titans.

Wednesday, December 3

7pm: Cock and Bull Crusaders v Star Bar Slashers.

Wednesday, December 10

6pm: TRC Titans v Alchemy All Stars.

8.30pm: Sporties Legends v Oak Royals.

Thursday, December 18

Grand final (1 v 2).

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