Force lose appeal against Super Rugby axing
Sydney - Western Force suffered a significant blow to their
hopes for reinstatement into the Super Rugby competition by losing a court
appeal Tuesday against their axing.
The NSW Supreme Court in Sydney dismissed an appeal made by
Force's parent body Rugby WA against the Australian Rugby Union's decision to
cut the Perth-based franchise from next year's Super Rugby competition.
"This now means the ARU have the ability to remove the
Western Force from the Super Rugby competition," Rugby WA said in a
"Rugby WA will evaluate its legal options and consider
grounds to seek leave to appeal to the NSW Court of Appeal in the coming
It had appealed an original court decision that a new
SANZAAR broadcast deal for 15 teams was legally binding, therefore nullifying an
agreement between the ARU and the Force guaranteeing them survival until the
end of 2020.
SANZAAR, the governing body of Super Rugby, decided to
reduce the competition after the unwieldy four-conference 18-team model lost
favour with fans and led to a slump in television viewers.
The ARU then announced that it would assess the business
cases of the Force and the Melbourne Rebels, before deciding in August the
Perth team was the franchise they intended to axe.