Western Force win right to appeal Super Rugby axing

It was a sea of blue in Perth

The ARU's decision to axe the Western Force has been widely condemned, and the issue looks set to play out in the courts on multiple fronts.

The ARU rejected Forrest's offer at the meeting and made it clear they were committed to cutting the Force.

RugbyWA, backed by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest, will find out on Wednesday whether they can appeal the Force's axing in the NSW Supreme Court.

RugbyWA, backers of the Force, argued the ARU had no right to axe the Perth-based club under the terms of the alignment deal that was struck past year.

The Supreme Court judge said he would start listening to the appeal immediately, but a decision might not be announced until next week.

The ARU contended that, with the competition contracting by three teams, a new broadcast agreement would be in place for 2018.

Western Australian businessman Andrew Forrest on Tuesday met with ARU board representatives, who refused a request to reinstate the Force in Super Rugby.

"And if that means the ARU goes bankrupt, so be it".

There was no more detail about the threat of breaking away, however it is obvious that Forrest has been inspired by the pragmatic moves of the Cheetahs and Kings of South Africa in joining the European Pro 14 competition.

But the ARU successfully argued in arbitration that the broadcast deal had since been renegotiated since the competition will go from 18 teams down to 15.

The chairman of Fortescue Metals claims he made an "unprecedented financial offer" to ensure the future of rugby as a national sport and to guarantee the future of the Force.

Forrest has offered to back the club, but the governing body maintain it is only viable to enter four Australian teams in the competition. "This will make rugby in Western Australia stronger and stronger again".

"We were asked about the possibilities of retaining the Western Force in a 16-team Super Rugby competition, however a 16-team competition was eliminated by SANZAAR during its review process based on a number of factors".



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