The Western Force are gone from Super Rugby; but the club itself is already announcing its fight for survival.
In an extraordinary afternoon; the ARU (Australian Rugby Union) announced that it would be cutting its support of the Western Force, effectively ending their time in Super Rugby. The Union said its decision was based on ‘financial outcomes’, choosing to keep the Melbourne Rebels in the competition despite poor crowd numbers in comparison to the Force.
Shortly afterward, CEO of the ARU Bill Pulver announced his impending departure from the role. A new boss of the union will be selected before next season.
Western Force Cut From Super Rugby In Dark Day For Australia
All in all, it makes for one of the darkest days for Australian rugby.
While Pulver’s announcement was expected, no one knew just what team would be axed from Australia’s Super Rugby landscape. It was a battle between the Force and the Rebels, and ultimately, it was the Force who’ve been shown the door.
The Rebels were largely saved after the Victorian Rugby Union purchased the club from owner Andrew Cox last week. The Rebels have not revealed their exact financial status, but it’s expected an announcement will be made soon.
Five Teams Cut To Four In Australia
The fight between the Force and the ARU is set to continue. Today was just the confirmation of what many knew anyway.
It comes at a time when Australia is desperate for success in rugby. Their national side hasn’t matched over SANZAAR nations for a while, and the much-discussed Australian conference in Super Rugby has failed to win over much optimism.
But, in the end, SANZAAR have got what they want. Five Australian Super Rugby sides have now been cut to four, and it only serves to benefit the already compromised financial issue in Australia.
“Main photo credit”