Force or Rebels face Super Rugby axe
Sydney - The Australian Rugby Union said on Monday either
the Rebels or Force face the axe 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 revamped 2018
southern hemisphere 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 chairperson Cameron Clyne told a media
"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."
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
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
Clyne said in addition to revenue declines, the changing
global rugby market place had posed challenges for the southern hemisphere
"Since the ARU expanded to five Super Rugby teams in
2010, the economy we operate in globally has changed dramatically," he
"With the incentives on offer in Europe, the player
exodus has been significant in Australia and indeed across our SANZAAR
"Based on recent performance trends, it is evident that
we do not currently have the playing depth in Australia to service five teams
in Super Rugby."