Western Force launch legal action against ARU

It's either the Force or the Rebels to go from Super Rugby.
It's either the Force or the Rebels to go from Super Rugby.

RugbyWA says it has issued legal proceedings against the Australian Rugby Union as the axe hovers over the embattled Western Force Super franchise.

After what it described as an "unsatisfactory meeting" with the ARU on Monday, the RugbyWA board issued a statement saying the peak body had "failed to address the responsibilities that exist in the Alliance Agreement between RugbyWA and the ARU".

"... We felt in order to protect our position it was necessary to issue legal proceedings to protect our rights under the Alliance Agreement," the statement explained.

The RugbyWA board said that the terms of the assessment and process being used to evaluate the Force and the Rebels were "inconsistent and inequitable".

Super Rugby's governing body SANZAAR had handed down an edict on Sunday that one Australian and two South African teams would be cut from the competition for 2018.

It was up to the ARU to determine which Australian franchise would go - the Force and Melbourne Rebels the two in the firing line.

The ARU said earlier on Monday that a final decision on which team would be cut was to be made in the next two-to-three days but RugbyWA inferred it would take some time more than that.

"Initially we had particular concerns about the 72-hour deadline to respond (to the ARU), however we have now been advised that we will have further time to present our business case," the RugbyWA statement said.

RugbyWA encouraged people to get behind their 'Own the Force' campaign to "strengthen our negotiating position with the Australian Rugby Union to ultimately secure the ... Western Force in Perth.

"We urge all supporters who pledged their commitment to now consider becoming a shareholder of the Western Force Owners Ltd.

"In the meantime, we will work with our partners, staff and Government to develop the best possible business case to take to the ARU."

- NZ Herald

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