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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 20 January 2018
Montpellier v Leinster 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Cheetahs v Kings 15h00 Bloemfontein
Saracens v Northampton Saints 15h15 Allianz Park
Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Treviso v Bath 17h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Scarlets v Toulon 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 21 January 2018
Leicester Tigers v Racing Metro 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Castres 13h00 Thomond Park
La Rochelle v Harlequins 15h15 Stade Marcel-Deflandre
Wasps v Ulster 15h15 Ricoh Arena
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