Fight not over as Force lodge appeal application

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Western Force are one step closer to the Supreme Court, having filed their application for an appeal against the ARU's decision to axe them from Super Rugby in 2018.

RugbyWA has applied for leave to lodge an appeal, and will likely find out whether that is successful by this time next week,but will wait in the knowledge that the ARU will not take any action on the club or players' futures until that is heard.

Should they be successful, RugbyWA and the ARU will be locked in full-blown court proceedings, with the westerners believed to be optimistic about their chances of overturning the decision.

Certainly cost will be of little barrier, with mining billionaire Andrew Forrest continuing his vocal crusade for the club, willing to bankroll any necessary legal action.

It was fitting that, shortly after the injunction was confirmed, Wallabies duo Adam Coleman and Dane Haylett-Petty were on the other side of the country declaring their belief that the process was far from over.

Coleman said he was still not contemplating the death of the club, despite the ARU’s call on Friday.

“I personally think the fight's not over yet and Dane believes that too and so does the rest of WA community in Western Australia,” he said.

“I think if we keep our mindset like that and really focus on keeping rugby alive for the Western Force I think it will go a long way.”

Haylett-Petty, who was the first WA-bred Wallaby when he debuted last year, said there was no single feeling after the news,.

“It’s mixed emotions at the moment, angry, confused, disappointed but as a group we're really sticking tight,” he said.

“The process is not done yet.

“There's a lot of people back home still fighting the good fight and we believe in all the administrators in Rugby WA and they're doing all they can to overturn this decision and the support of Twiggy Forrest has been amazing, so thank you to him too.”

Though it leaves players, and teams, in more contracting uncertainty, Haylett-Petty said he felt the playing group was ready to stick it out for a few more weeks,.

“I don't think you could ever hold it against anyone for looking after themselves and there may be a few boys in that situation (taking up another contract) but I think hopefully this is resolved in the next few weeks and from chatting with a lot of the boys, the boys are willing  to stay tight to the end,” he said.

Coleman said it didn’t matter to him how long it took for the process to unfold.

“I was fortunate enough to skipper the side against the Melbourne Rebels and I've poured my soul into the club and it's very much a part of me and everyone else that's played for the jersey feels the same way so I think however long it takes we'll just wait,” he said.

The Wallabies are in Penrith this week ahead of the opening Bledisloe.

Australia takes on New Zealand on Saturday August 19, kicking off at 8pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten and RADIO.