AUS­TRALIA TO CUT ONE TEAM

NZ Rugby World - - The Breakdown -

AUS­TRALIAN RUGBY SAYS IT WILL PER­SE­VERE WITH ITS PLAN TO CUT ONE TEAM FROM NEXT YEAR’S SU­PER RUGBY COM­PE­TI­TION DE­SPITE THE FACT SUCH A MOVE IS PROV­ING TO BE HUGELY POP­U­LAR.

The game in Aus­tralia is go­ing through a tor­rid time with sup­port at all lev­els dwin­dling, play­ing num­bers drop­ping and both the form of Su­per Rugby sides and the Wal­la­bies col­laps­ing.

There is also con­sid­er­able in-fight­ing, with Aus­tralian Rugby Union chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Pul­ver un­der in­tense pres­sure to re­sign.

De­spite the calls for him to move on and the sig­nif­i­cant op­po­si­tion to the plan to drop one fran­chise from next year’s com­pe­ti­tion, Pul­ver held his po­si­tion a er an emer­gency gen­eral meet­ing.

The meet­ing was called a er the Vic­to­rian Rugby Union and Rugby Union Play­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion be­came ex­as­per­ated by the con­tin­ued un­cer­tainty plagu­ing the sport.

They wanted an­swers on whether a team will be dropped and which one it would be – but only the first ques­tion has been an­swered.

“The ma­jor­ity of mem­bers have voted in sup­port of go­ing from five teams to four,” said ARU chair­man Cameron Clyne.

“We’ve got teams ob­vi­ously that are look­ing to stay in the com­pe­ti­tion, so we can’t re­ally con­trol that time frame. I ac­cept the crit­i­cism that it’s taken this time.

“Had I come out on April the 10th and said ‘we are go­ing to exit a team and it’s go­ing to take four months’, there would be equal crit­ics.”

REBEL YELL The Mel­bourne Rebels are seen by many as the favourites to be chopped. Rebel yelp?!

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