Super Rugby: Force out, Kings to stay?
Cape Town - The Western Force's time in Super Rugby is set come to an end, according to a report in Australian media on Monday.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the Force will be the Australian franchise to be cut from the competition - as part of a proposed SANZAAR move to reduce the number of teams from 18 to 15.
As a result the majority of contracted Force players, aside from senior Wallabies in Dane Haylett-Petty and Adam Coleman, will be automatically moved to new franchises by the ARU, according to the report.
Where the move to cut three teams from the competition is stalling comes down to the wait for a decision by South Africa over axing two of their six sides from Super Rugby.
A key SANZAAR meeting is scheduled for April 6, and while there is a general agreement that Super Rugby must be slimmed down to 15 sides, a current stumbling block is reportedly the South African government's backing to keep the Southern Kings involved in the competition, despite low crowds and poor performances on the field.
The Eastern Cape region boasts a strong heritage of black rugby representation and the Kings’ participation of the event is seen as a necessity.
Should South Africa decide it cannot cut two teams then the competition could remain with 18 sides in 2018.
Since entering the competition 11 years ago the Force's highest finish came in 2007, when they ended seventh.