Rebels, Force face expulsion

The Australian Rugby Union have announced that one of the Western Force or the Melbourne Rebels will be cut from Super Rugby in 2018.

According to ARU chairman Cameron Clyne the decision on which of the two team will be cut will be made within 48-72 hours.

Super Rugby’s ruling body SANZAAR announced that the 18-team Super Rugby tournament will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams for the 2018 season.

South Africa will lose two Super Rugby teams and has formed a panel to decide which team will be cut and the ARU will consult with the Force and the Rebels to decide which team is removed.

ARU chairman Clyne said: “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.

“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 across the globe. This process was finally completed yesterday.

“We are also very grateful to our broadcast partner Fox Sports, which has been steadfast in its support of the ARU through this process and since the inception of Super Rugby in 1996.

“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.

“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,” he said.

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