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    ARU strike deal to keep Force in Perth

    2016-06-03 07:25

    Sydney - The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) on Friday announced a deal that will keep struggling Force in Perth following speculation about the fate of the Super Rugby club.

    Under the deal, the club's players and professional staff will become employees of the ARU as the governing body integrates Force's professional rugby programme into its high performance unit.

    The agreement comes after weeks of talks between the ARU and the Western Australia Rugby Union (RugbyWA) over financial problems stemming from poor results, and follows calls for the team to be moved from the western city to Australian rugby's east coast heartland.

    "RugbyWA and the Force are not alone in their challenges to remain viable as a professional sports entity in Australia," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said.

    "Numerous teams across several codes are facing the same economic environment across professional sport and the ARU has been looking at ways to create a more efficient and effective way to run our Super Rugby businesses."

    He added: "The other really important outcome is that the Western Force will continue to be deeply entrenched in the Perth community."

    Under the alliance, the RugbyWA board will continue to be responsible for the community game in Western Australia.

    Force have struggled in recent Super Rugby seasons and have won just two of their 12 games during the current campaign to lie only above tournament newcomers the Sunwolves and Kings.

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