The Force roars!

Crazy Horse Roar Pro

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    Some 8000 people packed out Rugby WA headquarters on Sunday morning to support the Western Force and vent their anger.

    High-profile Western Australians from all walks of life, players and officials from other codes, and politicians from both sides of the fence were in attendance.

    Sports Minister Mick Murray said the state government was right behind the campaign to save the Force.

    Rugby WA President Hans Sauer gave a brilliant speech, outlining the many achievements of WA rugby. The thing he said that particularly sticks in my mind is that the ARU board only has one member who has been involved hands-on in community rugby. The Rugby WA board has five.

    Matt Hodgson received a rapturous welcome from the crowd and a big laugh when he said that he’s now unemployed so just a fan like everyone else. Hodgo said he had personally invited Cameron Clyne to come over and explain to the players and members, but been ignored. He then offered to pay Clyne’s airfares.

    Then came Western Australian of the Year, Force foundation member, and Australia’s richest man, Andrew Forrest.

    He explained to the Sea of Blue that he didn’t become directly involved in the fight to save the Force earlier because he didn’t think a fair and objective assessment could arrive at a decision to axe the team of third-largest and fastest growing rugby community in the nation.

    He decided to weigh in when the Force looked to be heading towards the chop. He said that he’d also invited Clyne to Western Australia.

    Forrest repeated his pledge to do whatever it takes to ensure the Force survives, then announced that if the ARU don’t want us in their competition, he’ll set up his own international competition for the Force to play in. The crowd erupted!

    Talking to some of the players afterwards, there is a feeling that the ARU can get stuffed. If there is no team for them to play for in this state, many of them are looking at going overseas until a new administration takes over. Although, with the Twiggy competition as a back up to Super Rugby, it looks like they won’t have to.

    Should Clyne ever be forced out (pun intended) of the ARU, whoever takes his place is going to have a lot of work to do to win back the trust of the Western Australian rugby community.

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