Force rumours affecting team morale
Cape Town - Western Force wing Dane Haylett-Petty explained that speculation that his side may be cut from Super Rugby next season are starting to damage the morale of the team.
On March 11, governing body Sanzaar, which comprises the Australian, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina rugby unions, said it would make its decision on the 18-team tournament's future format "in coming days" following final consultations with stakeholders.
Since then The Force, along with numerous other teams, such as fellow Australian sides the Brumbies and the Rebels, the Sunwolves and the South African duo of the Cheetahs and the Kings have been sweating over their futures after being linked with the 'cut'.
The Perth-based outfit were beaten 24-15 by the Blues at Auckland Park on Saturday, making it their fourth loss of the season and Haylett-Petty believes the constant rumours swirling around the side are beginning to affect the players.
"Last week was probably the first time where you could see it was affecting a few of the boys," The Wallaby wing told Stuff.co.nz.
"It was the first time the pressure really came on the Force. It definitely influences a few of the boys. But everyone handled it quite well.
"The tough thing is each week there's been a new report of something that's being leaked. Two weeks before it was the Rebels and the Brumbies and then last week it was the Force.
"Things are just popping up because there's all this uncertainty surrounding it.
"At the moment we can't really count on any information that's coming out. We'll have to wait and see what happens."