Billionaire Forrest to help save the Force


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46 Have your say

    If the Australian Rugby Union want to kill the Western Force, they are going to have to defeat the riches of mining magnate Andrew Forrest first.

    The Force’s bid for survival received a massive boost on Saturday when Forrest pledged to do everything within his powers to help the Perth-based franchise avoid the chop.

    Forrest, the chairman of Fortescue Metals, is valued at $4.5 billion according to Forbes.

    And he has a history of bankrolling causes close to his heart.

    Earlier this year, Forrest revealed he would donate $400 million to charity.

    Now, the Australian philanthropist has added ‘saving the Force’ to his to-do list.

    The ARU will axe either the Rebels or Force ahead of next season.

    Rebels owner Andrew Cox has previously stated he won’t sell the licence if it means it will be immediately closed down.

    But with Cox losing millions, rumours are circulating he is still in negotiations with the ARU about selling the licence back.

    The Force have enjoyed widespread community support since news broke the franchise was on the chopping block.

    And with Forrest’s deep pockets now in their corner, the Force have plenty of ammunition in their bid to stave off extinction.

    The ARU and Force will head to arbitration in the week beginning July 31.

    Forrest addressed the Force player group immediately after Saturday night’s 40-11 win over the Waratahs, assuring them the franchise will survive.

    “Be assured that surviving is not the issue. You will survive, and you will win,” Forrest said.

    Force coach Dave Wessels said it was a momentous occasion for the club.

    “To have somebody of his stature come into the circle and basically tell the team he’s going to throw his weight behind us and wants to see us remain in WA, it was a pretty special moment,” Wessels said.

    “He said he’s in behind us, and whatever we need, he’s going to make sure we get it.”

    Retiring veteran Matt Hodgson enjoyed the perfect send-off on Saturday night, scoring a try and a last-minute penalty in his side’s five-tries-to-one demolition of the Waratahs.

    “If I could write a script, I would pretty much write it that way,” Hodgson said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (46)

    • July 16th 2017 @ 12:52pm
      Hannes said | July 16th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

      It will be a very brave decision to cut the Force now, but the ARU Executives are suckers for punishment. They WA community from ordinary people like myself that bought into the Own the Force IPO to billionaires like Twiggy will be alienated from a sport they love. It is time for Twiggy to talk to his billionaire friends such as Reinhardt and Kerry Stokes to step up for WA. We stepped up when the Eastern States wanted to introduce a mining tax at the cost of WA, it is your turn to support us! Kerry Stokes can have a chat to the editor of the West Australian as the supposedly mouthpiece of the West has not supported the Force in any way the past year. If they did Hodgson would ben on the front page of the West today. Your missed a great WA story!

      • July 17th 2017 @ 2:43am
        Jeff dustby said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:43am | ! Report

        You will lose. Mining tax wouldn’t have effected WA people

    • Roar Pro

      July 16th 2017 @ 1:58pm
      Crazy Horse said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

      Competitive – 2nd in the Australian Conference, same no of wins as the 1st place team, Reigning NRC Champions, Check

      Rugby Union growing in the state, Check

      Support: The Sea of Blue are the most passionate fans in Australian Rugby. Check

      Producing Wallabies, Check

      Financially secure:
      “Own the Force” has over $5 million in the bank
      • Twiggy Forest has $5.7 Billion dollars and has promised “whatever it takes”.

      • WA Government support. Check

      State of the Art facilities, Check

      etc, etc, etc

      • July 17th 2017 @ 2:44am
        Jeff dustby said | July 17th 2017 @ 2:44am | ! Report

        Most of your checks are wrong

        Never made the finals – check

        • Roar Rookie

          July 17th 2017 @ 4:41pm
          piru said | July 17th 2017 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

          jeff – never made a constructive comment


        • Roar Pro

          July 17th 2017 @ 8:19pm
          sittingbison said | July 17th 2017 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

          Hamstrung by ARU since day 1 check
          System designed to keep Force bottom of Aus conference check

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:52pm
      Bfc said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

      Maybe…Pulver and his clique in ARU HQ have engineered their own downfall…’hoist on their own petard’…?
      Am neither Force or Rebels supporter per se…but it seems to this mug that keeping the Force is more benefit to Oz rugby. And if Cox is losing money (how much money is Forrest willing to stump up…the AFL budgeted to lose $25miilion in the first 5 years in setting up the GC Suns..or was that 10 years…) then maybe he is willing to “cut and run”…

    • July 16th 2017 @ 3:54pm
      Onside said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

      Cox sells to Forrest . ARU save face. Done deal.

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2017 @ 5:13pm
        Timbo (L) said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

        Cox can suck it.
        He is contractually owed $6 Mil. SANZAAR and the EARU can pay him out of their coffers for their incompetence. It was their Debt to start with.
        Twiggy can pick up the contracts for Hodge, Niavalu, Horowitz and English if he hasn’t left yet.
        Sorry Mafi and Timani, We already have great 8’s and 6’s, you should find a good home at the Brumbies, they have lost Fards and Butler next year.

        I do like the Idea of Cox taking over the Force licence though.
        It is Face and Cost saving and would be best outcome overall.
        Sorry to the Rebs fans, I would like to throw you a bone with the Reds, Brumbies and Tah’s donating their Home games against the Force to be played in Melbourne.

        • Roar Guru

          July 16th 2017 @ 5:48pm
          Kashmir Pete said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report


          Sorry to the Rebs fans, I would like to throw you a bone with the Reds, Brumbies and Tah’s donating their Home games against the Force to be played in Melbourne.

          Nice idea – and particularly appropriate for Brumbies home game against Force, if they are ceded entire grassroots rugby south of (or dependent on) Molongo-Murrumbidgee-Murray catchment regions (Riverina+VIC+SA).


        • July 16th 2017 @ 5:56pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

          How have you determined what Cox is contractually owed?

          • July 16th 2017 @ 7:16pm
            Daveski said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

            Whatever it is TWAS, it’s plenty !

          • July 17th 2017 @ 12:40am
            sittingbison said | July 17th 2017 @ 12:40am | ! Report

            Bugger that, it’s what he’s been PAID

            • July 17th 2017 @ 7:20am
              Train Without A Station said | July 17th 2017 @ 7:20am | ! Report

              Yeah fair call.

              Bugger what he may be legally entitled to pursue.

              • Roar Pro

                July 17th 2017 @ 8:21pm
                sittingbison said | July 17th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

                It’s what he has already COST that has “bankrupted” the ARU, not what he is going to sue for

    • July 16th 2017 @ 6:31pm
      double agent said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:31pm | ! Report

      Has Twiggy any history with the Force?

      • July 16th 2017 @ 6:54pm
        Piru said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

        Not sure about The Force specifically but he’s been a regular face in wa rugby as long as I’ve been involved

        • July 16th 2017 @ 7:27pm
          wally said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

          He think he has an Aussie Rules background from his school days, but has an interest in rugby due to it being involved in the resources industry. Correct, he has been involved in WA rugby for a while. Likewise with McCusker who is the QC working on pro bono for them (Nedlands RFC), Stokes is also a rugby person who pulled on the boots for Nedlands RFC. I hope he comes also comes out of the woodwork in support! If it works out we should call him Sir Twiggy!

          • July 16th 2017 @ 9:46pm
            Piru said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

            Apparently he was a foundation member I just saw on telly

            • July 16th 2017 @ 10:06pm
              wally said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

              Must have missed it on ABC news with dinner.

            • Roar Pro

              July 16th 2017 @ 10:06pm
              Crazy Horse said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

              Twiggy has been around for the whole Force journey.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 11:09pm
        Bob said | July 16th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

        Matt Hodgson work for FMG for the past few years also

      • July 17th 2017 @ 12:41am
        sittingbison said | July 17th 2017 @ 12:41am | ! Report

        Been to every home game. Foundation member. Rugby mad since schoolj

        Before the paid schill leaps in, FMG has sponsored the Force though the hard times, and been supporting them and players including Hodgo through very tough times in WA iron ore since 2012. And no, there were no rumours of axing the force until April this year. More obfuscation

        Goebbels = ARU = TWAS The Big Lie tell it loud enough long enough it must be true

        • July 17th 2017 @ 7:22am
          Train Without A Station said | July 17th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

          So he was there when the Force couldn’t get a major sponsor?

          Good to know.

          The longer he has been there only brings up more questions. Not answers.

          And anybody who questions the white knight who says he’s going to save them without any detail on what he is going to do must be a paid shill…

          SOME of you guys are pathetic and behave like children.

          • July 17th 2017 @ 10:12am
            sittingbison said | July 17th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

            As a foundation member Forrest set up and financed the Force 15 foundation which has been contributing to the development of the game in WA since 2007

            Both private owners of the rebels have cost Aus rugby around $28m outside the normal payments

            The only one here who is pathetic is you. Back in your box paid ARU schill

            • Roar Guru

              July 17th 2017 @ 10:49am
              Train Without A Station said | July 17th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

              Again a complete lie.

              The Rebels have not cost Australian rugby $28M.

              • July 17th 2017 @ 5:30pm
                Jock Cornet said | July 17th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

                Rebels are costing millions and got the spoon. No interest down their. They have to go. Rebels one win wonders . GGOONNNEEE

              • Roar Pro

                July 17th 2017 @ 8:21pm
                sittingbison said | July 17th 2017 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

                So…..$30 million then?

    • Roar Guru

      July 16th 2017 @ 8:03pm
      Machpants said | July 16th 2017 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

      From NZ, seeing crowd numbers and performances, the force has to stay. But I’m only outside looking in. However I feel, with the Boks mentioning their teams going to pro 12 ‘ if oz can drop a team’ means we’ll see the same old super 18 next year. Maybe a re jig of finals ( only top of two S.A conference’s gets guaranteed place, along with to oz and nz?)

      So sad it’s all such a mess

      • July 18th 2017 @ 6:45am
        Bakkies said | July 18th 2017 @ 6:45am | ! Report

        Kings and Cheetahs are going to the Pro 12 meeting and announcement tomorrow

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