Urgent meeting amid Super Rugby cull fiasco

SYDNEY • Australia's national rugby body yesterday agreed to an emergency meeting, after the country's top players said the game was being damaged by "the fiasco" surrounding the axing of Super Rugby teams.

The call follows an announcement last month that two South African teams and one from Australia would be cut from the southern hemisphere competition from next year, returning it to 15 sides.

Late yesterday the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) agreed to hold the meeting "within the next seven days" after a joint request from the Rugby Union Players' Association and the Victorian Rugby Union.

The ARU has said either Perth-based Western Force or the Melbourne Rebels would be culled, throwing the sport into disarray and causing anger.

The Force's parent body RugbyWA has launched legal action while the Rebels have also made it clear that they will seek compensation if disbanded.

"The ARU's intent to axe an Australian Super Rugby team has lacked transparency and consultation with key stakeholders," said Rupa chief Ross Zenos.

"The ongoing uncertainty and secrecy of this process continues to do unprecedented damage to the reputation of the game and has placed unacceptable distress on players and their families."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'Urgent meeting amid Super Rugby cull fiasco'. Print Edition | Subscribe