The Citizen (KZN)

Die is cast: Rebels or Force will be axed


– The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said yesterday either the Rebels or the Force face the chop from next year’s Super Rugby competitio­n, with talks underway to decide which one survives.

Governing body Sanzaar announced on Sunday that two South African teams and one from Australia would be culled from the 2018 tournament. “It is important for me to clarify firstly that the decision to remove a Super Rugby team from Australia was a decision made by the ARU, not by Sanzaar,” ARU chairman Cameron Clyne told a media conference.

“This outcome however was only made possible by a consensus vote by the four Sanzaar partners and has been a complex process involving the many stakeholde­rs in the competitio­n.”

Clyne said a decision would be made after talks with the Force and Rebels, meaning the Brumbies, Waratahs and Reds will be in the 2018 competitio­n.

The Brumbies had initially been among three teams under threat but after an analysis of financial sustainabi­lity, performanc­e and commercial factors, their future is now safe.

“We don’t anticipate this final consultati­on period being a drawn-out process and expect to be able to deliver an outcome in the very near future,” he said, adding that his union had come under increasing financial pressure from the demands of Super Rugby.

“Super Rugby has placed an increasing­ly heavy burden on the ARU business in recent years and the accelerati­on of revenue declines in our Super Rugby businesses has placed the game under extreme financial pressure,” he said.

“The additional funding provided by the ARU to offset Super Rugby losses has severely limited our capacity to invest further in our grassroots and high performanc­e areas such as player and coach developmen­t.” – AFP

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