This is the worst possible outcome for Australian rugby.
Western Australia is great for rugby – they are producing great Super Rugby players and Wallabies, their own ones.
They’ve got terrific support from Twiggy Forrest, and they have a very passionate crowd.
This decision will only play into the fears of Western Australians that the eastern seaboard doesn’t care about them, and alienate them from the game.
It will kill the prospect of exciting growth for the sport in Western Australia.
Instead, the ARU should have made the decision to put an end to the Melbourne Rebels.
The Rebels, in a city and state obsessed with Australian rules football, have nothing going for them.
Look at the Melbourne Storm – despite being one of the most successful NRL teams with the best players going around, they have never been the dominant sporting team in Melbourne.
What hope, then, do the Melbourne Rebels have? They are not really creating players – they have produced only a handful of Wallabies, and haven’t made a genuine star. They’re not going to get a run in the media.
It seems like the ARU made the easiest decision on offer.
The long term ramifications for the growth of rugby are that Perth had the opportunity to become a great rugby city, but now that is not going to happen.
It is never going to happen in Melbourne either.