ARU resolves to discontinue Western Force's Super Rugby licence

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 11, 2017

Australia's Western Force has been dropped from next season's Super Rugby competition, the Australian Rugby Union said on Friday.

The ARU won their arbitration hearing against Rugby WA today, and immediately announced they will be axing the Force.

"RugbyWA is considering all options including bringing urgent proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW and legal action relating to the circumstances which led it to enter into the Alliance Agreement with the ARU".

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The Rebels are expected to put out a statement soon, reflecting their gratitude for the faith shown by the ARU in the future of the club and Victorian rugby, their acceptance that this outcome comes with a "great responsibility" and expressing sympathy for the Force, its officials, squad and fans.

The ARU agreed to cut one of its five franchises during a meeting of Super Rugby stakeholders in April, when it was made a decision to reduce the competition from 18 clubs to 15 for next season. "But if they want to continue to fight us, we will happily take them on for as long as it takes".

ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said Australian rugby couldn't sustain five teams.

"Western Australia will retain an important place in Australian rugby and the ARU will continue to support youth development programs and the community game in the west".

Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest has also backed a campaign to save the Force franchise from a cull, telling the ARU his support for rugby is contingent upon the Perth-based club remaining in a national competition.

"Our immediate concern is to support the individuals at the Western Force through these hard circumstances and we will deploy various ARU management staff to Western Australia to provide assistance to all players and staff".

The South African Rugby Union cut two teams and negotiated for them to compete in a European competition next season.

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