ARU decision 6-8 weeks away: McGahan

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

Rebels coach Tony McGahan says the ARU will decide which Super Rugby franchise will be cut in six to eight weeks.

The admission came as somewhat of a surprise, as the ARU has refused to put a timeframe on the decision since narrowing their focus on the Force and Rebels a month ago.

That is in some part a consequence of the legal threats made by both parties but also encompasses the process the governing body is going through as it properly examines the case of both clubs.

"It's a difficult time and we really need as much support as we can," McGahan said.Tom English is a Rebels player that wants the Super Rugby drama over and done with. Photo: Getty Images"It's difficult for people outside the realms of the club to really understand but we are told it could be another six to eight weeks before a decision is made.

"As you could imagine that puts a lot of unnecessary stress on everyone in the organisation.

"As that time goes further, you can really feel it as is starts to affect people's livelihoods, where they want to be and where they want to end up."

SANZAAR's executive met on Friday for the first time since announcing the 2018 format changes, but Super Rugby's governing body kept tight-lipped on that meeting and it seems unlikely there was any official moves to hasten the process in Australia or South Africa, who have to cut two teams ahead of next season.

The Rebels have emerged victorious in just one game this season and a 1-7-1 record can only produce pressure - both internal and external.

McGahan freely admitted as much today, in what has been the most arduous stretch the club has faced in his time as coach.

"Everyone is different and I think everyone is trying their best to keep it at bay - to try and manage it and not transfer it on," he said.

"I haven't got it right all the time but it certainly isn't easy when you're in over your head with injuries and other things.

"I think if you ask most football clubs and coaches and staff, it is a hard enough job to do at the best of times, let alone with outside influences distracting the environment."

What the Rebels need so desperately is a win.

Beat the Reds tomorrow night - which is certainly not out of the question - and the club will attain some much needed breathing space.