Sanzaar announces new format for Super Rugby from 2018

The decision to close down either the Western Force or the Melbourne Rebels is a damning indictment of the state of rugby union in Australia, says former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock. Clyne said after an "exhaustive analysis" it had been determined that the ACT Brumbies, who were also threatened with removal, would remain in the tournament.

Super Rugby's governing body SANZAAR has said that the Sunwolves will move from one of the Africa conferences to the Australian franchise.

Alex Newsome's Western Force or Mick Snowden's Melbourne Rebels will soon be no more in Super Rugby.

The two teams will be consulted as the ARU further examines their financial position.

"Actually everything we do, whether growing participation, engaging with fans, delivering high performance outcomes, ultimately it should all be financially measurable".

The Western Force has lodged a writ with the WA Supreme Court against the Australian Rugby Union (ARU). Hopefully the Franchise Committee will talk about the players at those franchises who're going to be cut from Super Rugby and where they might play from next year, because there are certainly players in those franchises who are better than at some other teams.

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"Since the ARU expanded to five Super Rugby teams in 2010, the economy we operate in globally has changed dramatically".

One Australian team will be cut as well as two South African teams.

Roux admitted a reduction in teams was a bitter pill for South Africa to swallow but his organisation had faced up to the fact that retaining six teams would have put South African rugby at an even greater risk.

Kings coach Deon Davids has motivated for the franchise to keep its Super Rugby status in 2018, saying that the future of South African rugby lies in the Eastern Cape.

"SANZAAR can not continue to ignore the extensive feedback that it has received from fans, stakeholders and commercial partners around the integrity of the competition format and performances of the teams".

The Force produced one of their most entertaining displays on Sunday in a 46-41 win over the Kings in a 12-try thriller at nib Stadium.

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As well as the financial losses, Clyne said Australia simply did not have the player depth to support five Super Rugby teams anymore, a belief supported by diminishing on-field results.

The cuts come against the backdrop of falling revenues and fan interest after the expansion to 18 teams in 2016 following the addition of Argentina's Jaguares and Japan's Sunwolves as well as the return of the Kings in South Africa.

"It's not going to have any effect on the broadcast deal in the current arrangement, that's one of the reasons why the decision has taken so long, we've obviously had to do quite an extensive consultation with all of our broadcasters across the globe", Marinos said.

"But the tournament's long-term future and the economic reality of the business at present is something that had to be addressed".

"The potential for growth of the sport in Asia off the back of the establishment of the Sunwolves and the impending World Cup (in Japan) in 2019 is significant".

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