ARU chief offers to resign over Super impasse

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 05:07
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NEWS: Australian Rugby Union Chief Bill Pulver says he will resign immediately if an emergency general meeting this week calls for him to go, a report said Monday. 

Pulver is under pressure as head of the embattled governing body over continuing uncertainty about which Australian Super Rugby team will be culled from next year's competition, along with two from South Africa.

The ARU announced plans to axe either the Melbourne Rebels or Western Force more than 10 weeks ago, but it has become bogged down in legal wrangling.

The country's top players have complained the game was being damaged by "the fiasco" and an EGM has been called for Tuesday to discuss the process.

Pulver said he would step down if the mood of the meeting demanded it.

"If everyone in the room stood up on Tuesday and said, 'Bill, we think it's time for change now', I will step down immediately," he told Fairfax Media. "It's not an issue of anyone having to push me out.

"If the members of Australian rugby felt the game would be better suited with me gone, they don't need to call an EGM. I'm here for the good of the game. If and when it's time for me to leave, I will leave quite happily." 

Pressed on whether he continued to have backing from the ARU board, Pulver replied: "Ask them." 

Two of the resolutions at Tuesday's meeting relate to the ARU reconsidering its pledge to remove a Super Rugby team.

Pulver said the feedback he has had "from virtually every state is they agree that we need to go from five to four".

"Most people who understand the game appreciate that we need to go from five to four teams," he added.

Australian rugby is in a bad place with poor performances by their teams in Super Rugby exacerbated by the Wallabies' 19-24 loss in Sydney to Scotland last weekend. 

Scotland have beaten the Wallabies just three times in 35 years and look set to leapfrog Australia on the world rankings for the first time.  

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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