Former Force players and fans have been out in force on social media, slamming the ARU's decision to cut the Force.
Foundation Force captain Nathan Sharpe wasted little time in voicing his anger at the call to axe the Perth franchise from Super Rugby in 2018, describing it as the biggest misstep the governing body could have made.
The biggest mistake the ARU could have made - Time to clear the decks and start fresh.— Nathan Sharpe (@NathanSharpe5) August 11, 2017
Force coach Dave Wessels, lamented the move on Twitter.
Sad day!— David Wessels (@DaveWessels) August 11, 2017
Current Force players were also vocal about their views, with co-captain Heath Tessman blunt in his reaction.
Cowards— Heath R Tessmann (@heathtessmann) August 11, 2017
A sad day for Australian Rugby— Ian Prior (@ianprior90) August 11, 2017
Devastated— Jonathon Lance (@jonno_lance) August 11, 2017
WA Premier Mark McGowan tweeted that he was 'gutted' by the news.
Absolutely gutted by the ARU decision to cut the @westernforce license. The State Government is right behind our team. We haven't given up.— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) August 11, 2017
It wasn't just Force players voicing their disappointment, with the players advocating for the maintenance of five teams throughout the whole process.
Nobody wins from this. 30+ blokes looking for a new home and an entire supporter base lost to Australian rugby. Sad day.— Mick Snowden (@MickSnowden) August 11, 2017
Feeling for my friends in West. Nobody wins from this but Rugby definitely loses. Shortsighted— Dave McDuling (@davemcduling) August 11, 2017