'Twiggy' too late to save Force says ARU boss

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:02
Large andrew forrest and dave wessells western force 2017 800

REACTION: Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver revealed why the ARU rejected Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's offer to save the Western Force from being cut from Super Rugby.

Pulver said Forrest's AUS$50 million offer to save the Force and ensure future development in Western Australia came too late.

The ARU turned down the offer, apparently because they had already promised SANZAAR they would cut a team from next year's competition. 

"I wish he'd been involved in the process perhaps a little earlier, that would have been helpful," Pulver said in an interview on canberratimes.com.au. 

"There are plenty of opportunities to add to the player development pathway. If he's got investment ideas, we'd love to talk to him. 

"We are way down the track, sitting here about five months from kick-off in Super Rugby … having made commitments to SANZAAR to go to four teams and having had an [extraordinary general meeting] where our members voted to go to four teams. 

"It's a little late in the process to be making that sort of change.

"If Forrest is looking to invest in Australian rugby, that's a wonderful thing and there are plenty of opportunities. I understand a range of $10 [million] to $50 million was tabled in relation to investment in the Australian Rugby Foundation." 

WA Rugby launched an appeal against the Force’s axing, which was heard in the NSW Supreme Court. A decision is expected late this week or early next week.

"Last Wednesday it was heard, and I think some time next week we'll hear an outcome and we'll respond to that when we get to it," Pulver said. 

"I can't predict it [the outcome]. We just have to wait and see what the judge comes up with." 

Source: The Canberra Times & The West Australian

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