Rebels: ARU has no right to 'chop' us
Melbourne - The Melbourne Rebels on Friday said they intend to seek compensation from the Australian Rugby Union as the Super Rugby axe hovers over the club.
The ARU said this week that either the Perth-based Western Force or Rebels would be culled from the revamped 2018 southern hemisphere tournament.
The Rebels released a statement which said that the national governing body has no right to "cut or chop" them from Super Rugby.
The Melbourne club said it intended to seek recompense from the ARU for the damage caused by its "unnecessary public statements and action" in its handling of the process.
The Rebels move follows confirmation that Western Force will launch legal action against the ARU in a bid to keep the threatened Perth Super franchise afloat.
The growing backlash follows Super Rugby's governing body, SANZAAR, announcing last Sunday that two South African teams and one from Australia would be culled, streamlining the 18-team competition to a three-conference 15-team format.
SANZAAR has left it to the national rugby unions involved to announce the teams to cut.
"We unequivocally reject that the ARU has any ability to chop or cut (ARU words) the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby licence," the Rebels statement read.
"Any representation by the ARU, including its Chairman, to that effect is legally incorrect and in complete conflict with the constitution of the ARU.
"The ARU's continued use of these terms and perpetuation of this myth continues to cause significant damage to MRRU and its players and staff."
The Rebels said the ARU's decision to reduce Australian representation from five to four teams and that they could be the team "cut" was contrary to previous advice.