Western Force open legal fight against Super axe

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 07:15

NEWS: Western Force opened their legal fight to remain a Super Rugby team on Monday as they requested an appeal against the decision to axe them and won an injunction against the Australian Rugby Union.

The Perth franchise's parent body, Rugby WA, lodged the appeal request with the New South Wales Supreme Court after the ARU announced their removal from the Southern Hemisphere competition last week.

Western Force have fallen victim to Australia's decision to cut one of its five Super Rugby teams as the unwieldy, globe-trotting competition slims down from 18 sides to 15 next year.

They expect to find out by August 21 if they are able to appeal. The injunction, granted Monday, means the ARU cannot sack or relocate any of Force's players until the issue is resolved.

Rugby WA enjoys the heavyweight backing of billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who has called for a complete overhaul of the ARU board. 

The ARU won an arbitration case against Rugby WA last Friday and immediately moved to axe the Force from Super Rugby.

The central issue in arbitration was whether the ARU had the right to axe the Force under the terms of the 'alliance' deal the two parties formed last year.

The ARU bought the Force's licence as part of that agreement and guaranteed the franchise's future until the end of the broadcast deal in 2020.

But the ARU successfully argued that the old broadcast deal no longer existed as a new one was negotiated following the move to cut from 18 to 15 Super Rugby teams.

In the immediate fall-out from the contentious decision to cull the Force, ARU Chief Executive Bill Pulver announced his resignation, saying the body needed a "clean slate".

ARU director Geoff Stooke, who is from Western Australia, stepped down in protest at the Force's demise.

The Rugby Union Players' Association condemned the axing of the Force as the "darkest day in the history of Australian rugby".

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 November 2017
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Treviso 19h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h45 Kingston Park
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
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