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Western Force threaten legal action after Super Rugby axing

11 August, 2017, 14:11 | Author: Joan Malone
  • The Western Force have been dumped from the Super Rugby competition

The Western Force are set to take the Australian Rugby Union to court after being axed from the Super Rugby competition.

Following the departure of the Cheetahs and Southern Kings to the PRO14, Super Rugby was set to contract from 18 teams to 15.

The Australian Rugby Union have chose to axe the Perth-based Western Force team from Super Rugby.

"Our decision to exit the Western Force has been guided primarily by financial outcomes".

"Rugby WA remains committed to pursuing every possible means to ensure the Western Force remains a Super Rugby team in Perth", Rugby WA said in a statement after the ARU decision.

"We need to support the areas of the game that are growing, they deserve much more".

"Furthermore, the significant unbudgeted support funding that has been provided to Super Rugby teams over the past five years has greatly affected our capacity to invest in community Rugby".

But the saga isn't about to end, with Rugby WA releasing a statement saying they will consider bringing urgent proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW.

Clyne said Pulver had been hamstrung by the multiple layers of governance in the game and that it was sad that rugby "turns on its own" more than any other sport.

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He said the decision to cut the Force was "not a decision to abandon the game in Western Australia". "I stand behind all of these wonderful people who believe in a fair go and the right for Australians to support rugby union as a national sport, not just one reduced to the eastern seaboard".

Perth-based Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels, traditionally the weakest of the Australian teams, had both been warned they could face the axe.

"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".

The players' representative body was pushing for five Australian teams to continue in the 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 Victorian Rugby Union now owns the Rebels' Super Rugby licence after buying it from former owner Andrew Cox.

Nobody from the Western Force was immediately available for comment.

Force hooker Heath Tessman, who previously played for the Rebels, described the ARU as "cowards" while Force utility back Jonno Lance tweeted he was "devastated". That campaign has fallen on deaf ears. "We understand that Rugby WA are considering their legal position from this point forward and we respect their rights to explore such avenues".

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