Force to explore Asia if appeal fails

International
AAP
by AAP

The Western Force will consider launching a new rugby union competition in Asia if they can't win their way back into Super Rugby ranks.

The Force's future is up in the air after they were axed by the ARU earlier this month.

RugbyWA will find out on Wednesday whether their appeal against the ARU's decision to axe the Force will be heard in the NSW Supreme Court.

If not - or if the appeal fails - the Force will be left with no other choice but to explore playing elsewhere.

Two South African teams were also cut as part of the Super Rugby cull - the Cheetahs and Kings.

But their 'axing' was an amicable process given plans were put in place for them to join Europe's Pro14 competition.


If the move is successful, South Africa's four remaining Super franchises may also join the European league.

During the Force's supporter rally on Sunday, billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest threw up a curve ball by saying he would start his own international league if the Supreme Court appeal failed.

Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry said the idea had merit.

"This is a really exciting concept and picks up on some interesting rugby we're seeing in Asia," Sinderberry said.

"Certainly Twiggy's vision is one we'd be very excited to understand.

"It's an embryonic idea, but one worth exploring.

"There's a number of cities and countries in Asia that do play rugby at the moment and are looking at ways to develop their own programs. So we think it would be very well received."

But Sinderberry stressed his No.1 preference would be for the Force to remain in Super ranks.

Western Force GM Mark Sinderberry says rolling the ARU board wouldn't solve anything. Photo: Getty ImagesHe feels that would be the best way to help Australian rugby fix their current financial and on-field woes.

"Shrinking to success is not a very well tried strategy," Sinderberry said.

"Unless the Force are at the table, we can't be part of the solution.

"We want to develop a future that actually solves the wider challenges the game is facing. And as we saw on the weekend (in the Wallabies' heavy loss to NZ), there are many."

Forrest is due to meet with ARU chairman Cameron Clyne and ARU board members John Eales and Brett Robinson in Adelaide on Tuesday.

He hopes to convince the ARU to reverse their decision to cut the Force.

The Western Australian Government has threatened to bankrupt the ARU over its axing of the Force.

WA Premier Mark McGowan revealed he is investigating the prospect of suing the ARU for more than $100 million over funds the Government pumped into redeveloping nib Stadium and building the Force's headquarters.

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