Super cull: Embattled ARU 'fight back'

Thu, 18 May 2017 09:29
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REACTION: The Australia Rugby Union's beleaguered chiefs insist they have not botched their efforts to reduce the country's Super Rugby presence.

Their reaction comes in the wake of players calling the saga a "fiasco".

The Rugby Union Players Association on Wednesday unanimously backed a Victorian Rugby Union call for an emergency meeting of ARU voting members to examine the governing body's processes as the sport agonises over which team to axe from next year's competition.

The RUPA board, which includes Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and fellow Test stars Bernard Foley, James Slipper and Scott Sio, have blasted the ARU for a lack of transparency and consultation "in this ongoing fiasco".

It follows the ARU announcing in April that either the Western Force or Melbourne Rebels would be cut from the Southern Hemisphere competition along with two South African teams in 2018.

ARU chairman Cameron Clyne, who has agreed to the meeting, denied the culling process had been botched.

"Nothing could be more incorrect," he told The Australian newspaper Thursday

"We haven't botched the process. We have been very clear about how the process is being run but a lot of that has got lost.

"There is no floundering. We are responding to people who are desperate to stay in the competition."

RUPA vehemently opposes any reduction in the number of Australian teams, presenting various models to the ARU for consideration by Super Rugby's governing body SANZAAR which support the retention of all five franchises.

Clyne said the ARU did not have a fallback plan.

"We are just focusing on working towards our stated position of having four [Australian] teams," he said.

RUPA Chief Executive Ross Xenos believes the threatened Rebels could potentially be bought by the ARU for up to AU$10-million (US$7.4-million) and then shut down.

"The most consistent narrative we hear from the ARU is about the financial challenges the game faces and how tough times are," Xenos told the newspaper.

"Axing an Australian team and disenfranchising a rugby community was justified five weeks ago by the ARU on financial savings.

"Now, AU$6- to $10-million promised to be invested into the game, including at grassroots level, could be burned so that the ARU can cull a team and save face around the SANZAAR table."

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28