Mining magnate backs Force to stay in Super Rugby

Sun, 16 Jul 2017 09:46
Large western force celebrate v waratahs 2017 800

REACTION: Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest pledged his support Sunday to embattled team Western Force to remain in next year's Super Rugby competition.

The Australian Rugby Union are deciding if the Perth-based Force or the Melbourne Rebels will be dumped from the competition in a Super Rugby restructure from 18 to 15 teams in 2018.

Forrest gave a passionate on-field address to the Western Force players after they ended their Super Rugby season with a 40-11 win over the Waratahs in Perth Saturday.

The billionaire told the players the state of Western Australia was behind them and the franchise would survive its predicament.

"You've gotta recognise that the people of Western Australia are so proud of you, what you achieved tonight [Saturday] is not an aberration," he said.

"Surviving is not the issue. You will survive and you will win. Your state is totally behind you."

The mining Chairman issued a statement Sunday where he "pledged his full support for the Western Force rugby team" and said his love for the game was the only motivation.

"I stand completely with, and behind, Western Australia to keep this team thriving, not just surviving, but absolutely thriving in the national rugby scene," he added.

Forrest also "assured the Australian Rugby Union board that his ongoing support for rugby would be contingent upon it remaining a national, not an eastern states-only, sport".

He said he wanted the Force to know that "I, as a proud Western Australian, have their backs".

This week marks 100 days since the Australian Rugby Union announced that a resolution on which of the two franchises would be culled would come in "48 to 72 hours".

The process became more protracted as the ARU consented to giving the Force and Rebels more time and the franchises investigated legal options.

South African teams Cheetahs and Southern Kings have already been dumped from next year's competition.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
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