Force deny they face Super axe

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:38

NEWS: Western Force on Tuesday dismissed concerns they face the axe from the troubled Super Rugby competition after a report suggested they will be scrapped in a revamped format.

Organisers SANZAAR are grappling with a way forward for the confusing 18-team, five-nation Southern Hemisphere championship and announced some three weeks ago that a shake-up was imminent.

Since then it has been mute on the issue.

In the absence of any decisions, speculation has been rife that it will be trimmed back to 15 teams, with South Africa losing two of its six teams and Australia cutting one of five.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph stated Tuesday that Western Force, which was founded in 2005, would be chopped rather than the Brumbies or Melbourne Rebels. The Waratahs and Reds are widely considered safe.

But Force Chief Executive Mark Sinderberry rejected this.

"The reports that are coming out of Sydney at the moment are totally false," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"Two-and-a-half weeks ago we had a telephone link up with the Australian Rugby Union and at that time made very clear that there was a number of factors to be considered and there hadn't been any decisions made and we've had no further correspondence since then."

Sinderberry was adamant Western Force was not facing the axe.

"It's not a case of whether they should or not, at all. They will survive," he said.

Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said no decisions had been taken.

"At this point, there has been no determination on the future competition format or the teams involved in the competition," he said in a statement.

"We also wish to confirm for the public record that no decision has been taken on the removal of one of Australia's Super Rugby teams."

The competition currently straddles 17 time zones and four continents, resulting in complaints of lopsided contests, taxing travel times and a fragmented conference system seen as too confusing for fans.

Problems intensified in 2016, when Super Rugby expanded from 15 teams to 18 with the introduction of Japan's Sunwolves, Argentina's Jaguares and South Africa's Southern Kings.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 June 2017
South Africa A v French Barbarians 18h00 Orlando Stadium
Sat, 24 June 2017
Fiji v Scotland 02h30 Suva
Japan v Ireland 04h40 Tokyo
Australia v Italy 05h00 Suncorp Stadium
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Eden Park
South Africa v France 15h00 Johannesburg
Canada v United States 19h00 Calgary
Argentina v Georgia 19h15 Estadio Ciudad De La Plata
Tue, 27 June 2017
Hurricanes v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19