Aussies resolute in cutting a team
SYDNEY: The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) board has welcomed support of its members as it proceeds with plans to reduce one Super Rugby team from Australia ahead of next season.
At an extraordinary general meeting held at ARU headquarters yesterday, members voted on the viability of Australia’s participation in the tournament with five teams. The voting reiterated belief that at least one team should be cut from that conference.
ARU Chairman, Cameron Clyne said: “It was a constructive meeting and gave us the opportunity to share some additional information on what some of the challenges are, and to answer some questions from the members.
“As we’ve said right from the outset, it was a difficult decision but we are here because our on-field performance and financial performance are not where they need to be. We want to see success, and although this has been a difficult process, we believe that this gives us an opportunity to improve that and the majority of members agree.
“We acknowledge that this process has had an impact on the health of our game, and most importantly on our people, including players at the Super Rugby clubs.
“We are trying to bring this to a conclusion as soon as possible to give everyone in the game the certainty they deserve, though there are some factors out of our control.”
The meeting also reviewed trends in Australian Rugby and across global professional sports to highlight the challenges being faced by the industry.
“While Australian rugby operates in the most congested winter sports market in the world, the challenges we are facing are not unique to our game,” said Clyne.
“The key to rugby’s longterm health is the number of young boys and girls playing the game and we need to strengthen our investment at the grassroots level.
“On-field success for our professional teams is also crucial as there is a direct correlation between team performance and fan attendance and viewership.” – ANA