Where to now? The big questions following the ARU’s decision to cut the Force

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By Daniel Jeffrey, Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar Editor

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    After the ARU finally made the decision to remove the Western Force’s Super Rugby license, there’s plenty of confusion about the next steps in the process. Here are all the big questions – and some of the answers – facing Australian rugby right now.

    What next?
    A messy legal battle seems imminent. Rugby WA CEO Mark Sinderberry said they would be seeking an injunction, his statements coming after a defiant press release from Rugby WA following the ARU’s decision.

    “RugbyWA remains committed to pursuing every possible means to ensure the Western Force remains a Super Rugby team in Perth,” the statement read.

    “RugbyWA is considering all options including bringing urgent proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW, and legal action relating to the circumstances which led it to enter into the Alliance Agreement with the ARU.

    “Whilst the board of RugbyWA is extremely disappointed with the ARU’s stated position, with the support of the Rugby community and numerous WA business identities including Mr Andrew Forrest AO we will continue the fight to retain the Force in Western Australia.”

    Such an eventuality has seemed likely ever since Forrest pledged his support to the franchise, and with the mining magnate’s billions behind them, it would seem the Force are intent on taking the matter as far as possible.

    This isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.

    So is Forrest sticking around for the fight?
    In a word, yes.

    If Rugby WA’s statement was defiant, then Twiggy’s was even moreso.

    “This is like dumping the fastest improving athlete or the silver medalist from the Olympic swimming squad and leaving the worst performer in there,” Forrest said in a press release.

    “It is a ludicrous and unfair legal initiative by the ARU. This would only get through litigation and never logic.”

    He then followed it up by stating he – and the Force and Rugby WA – are up for the fight.

    “We want leadership from the Australian Rugby Union, not cowardly litigation,” Forrest said.

    “But if they want to continue to fight us, we will happily take them on for as long as it takes.”

    Forrest will be at the forefront of the previously-mentioned injunction, and said he’s working on a plan B should that fail.

    (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

    What happens to the ARU?
    Well, don’t expect to see Bill Pulver leading the organisation for too much longer. The ARU’s CEO has announced he will stand down as soon as they’ve found a replacement for him.

    “I have made the decision to step down as CEO once the board finds someone to replace the position,” Pulver said.

    “It’s been a tough year for rugby. It’s a good time for a renewed leadership. A clean slate. A new generation of rugby.”

    The problem is, it’s hard to see who Pulver’s replacement will be. One of the criticisms of the ARU has been that there’s no obvious successor to Pulver waiting in the wings.

    Former chief operating officer Rob Clarke had been touted as a possible candidate, but his resignation in May has scuppered the chances of that.

    Whoever steps into Pulver’s shoes, they will no doubt have an unenviable job ahead of them. Let’s hope they’re up for the task.

    Could the Force join a different competition?
    Given South Africa’s two axed franchises have joined the European Pro 12 – or Pro 14 now – some are asking whether the Force could do the same.

    You’d think it pretty damn unlikely though. Unlike the Cheetahs and Kings, the Force don’t share a timezone with any other significant rugby competition in the world – with the exception of Japan’s Top League – nor are they geographically close to any.

    Even in Super Rugby they were a bit of a geographical outlier, something of a pit-stop between the Australian franchises on the east coast and South Africa.

    So no, don’t expect to see the Force linking up with Europe anytime soon.

    Matt Philip Western Force Rugby Union Super 2017

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    What happens to the Force players?
    In March, the ARU promised to honour all contracts signed by players, even if they were with a franchise that was subsequently cut from Super Rugby. They reiterated that commitment earlier today.

    However, while that guarantees a bit of financial security, it doesn’t answer the question of what happens to those players next.

    ARU chairman previously said they will sit down individually with players to work out the best course of action.

    “If we do end up in a situation where there are less teams than there are, then we’ll sit down and it’ll be a player-by-player basis,” Clyne said in May.

    “We’re saying to players, ‘We’ll give you the certainty of honouring your contract or pursuing early release or whatever you want to achieve’.”

    No doubt the ideal situation is for the majority of players to be shifted to different Australian Super Rugby teams, but that’s something the ARU won’t be able to force on anyone.

    Wallaby winger Dane Haylett-Petty, for example, previously stated he would not be too interested in moving from Perth if the Force were cut, raising the possibility that he could bypass next year’s Super Rugby tournament despite a contract that runs through to 2019.

    The Force had six current Wallabies in their 2017 squad: Adam Coleman, Tetera Faulkner, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Haylett-Petty, Billy Meakes, and Curtis Rona. However, Faulkner has already signed a deal with the Melbourne Rebels for next year.

    The entire squad won’t all be able to squeeze their way into the remaining franchises. Some Force players have already inked contracts with overseas clubs, a trend that we’d expect to see continue.

    Dane Haylett-Petty of the Force

    (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

    What does it mean for the Perth Spirit?
    The reigning NRC champions are closely linked to the Force – unsurprisingly, given they share a city – but there was no mention of them whatsoever in the ARU’s press release.

    Given that, and that the ARU said “Western Australia will retain an important place in Australian rugby and the ARU will continue to support youth development programs and the community game in the West,” it’s safe to say the Spirit aren’t going anywhere.

    What happens to people who invested in the ‘Own The Force’ campaign?
    There’s no guarantee they’ll be refunded, however if there are any funds left over after the company set up by the campaign is closed, they will be distributed back to the Own The Force shareholders.

    Could the NRL move into Perth?
    It’s a move plenty of fans have proposed over the last few months. With the Force gone, it certainly would make sense for the NRL to look at breaking into the west coast market.

    However, the NRL currently has its hands full with negotiating a new pay deal, which is undoubtedly a higher priority than attempting to break into an unfamiliar city.

    The opportunity is there, but it would be a big surprise to see the NRL make a bold leap and take it.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.

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    The Crowd Says (147)

    • Roar Rookie

      August 11th 2017 @ 7:20pm
      DubaiKiwi said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

      Another words, WA becomes a backwater that the Eastern Australian Rugby Union just don’t care about.

      • August 11th 2017 @ 11:13pm
        Big boob said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

        Sad day for all concerned.

        Not sure this is the end of rugby unions decline in Oz.

        The games are not on tv and has very little interest outside of the union heartlands in Sydney and I assume still somewhere in Brisbane.

        My tip is Super rugby as we know it, dead within five years.

        • August 12th 2017 @ 3:58pm
          Realist said | August 12th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

          The Western Force have to take this one on the chin and accept it despite how painful it would be.
          12 years and really only this season and one other a few years ago are the only ones you could call acceptable.
          Current and especially former players need to have a look at themselves and ask each other if they really have it their all. Perth fans weren’t exactly snapping up tickets to support their team.
          I’d like to see the Rebels and Brumbies have first dibs on Force players – let the Tahs and Reds give some of their youngsters coming through a chance.
          Worst result would be the ARU manipulating the path for Coleman – a player who plays with heart – to Moore Park. That would be a disgrace

          • August 12th 2017 @ 4:18pm
            RahRah said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

            Who says we do? Stuff you and anyone else who thinks we should just roll over and take it up the jaxie. You and the rest of your eastern centric can go to blazes.

          • August 12th 2017 @ 4:26pm
            Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

            Why Realist? Why should they accept a terrible rygby decision? I believe the ARU is responsible for development in Aus of rugby and the current board has failed badly in doing this core role…Close to provable incompetency to be honest…And PULLver runs away…Brave..

            • August 12th 2017 @ 4:33pm
              RahRah said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

              Perhaps he thinks we should show the same heart that the Tah Tah’s or the Rebels have this year.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 12th 2017 @ 7:52pm
            Kirky said | August 12th 2017 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

            Realist!!! You repulse me sunshine!!

            To suggest that the Brumbies and the Rebels get first go at the Force players is nothing short of disgusting particularly when none of the Force layers want to play anywhere else bar the Force!

            And what’s more the Force players are free agents mate and can please themselves and judging by what I hear here in Perth, none want to be anywhere near the Brumbies or any other team.

            The ARU which is a hopeless case as you should well know cannot force any player to go anywhere and I and all Force supporters hope they all go elsewhere, and if they’re wise they would go to New Zealand, UK or wherever and not give the useless ARU the satisfaction of bludging players off the best run and organised Franchise in the Country who got canned when any one of the Brumbies, Rebels, Reds and Waratahs are the Franchise’s that should have been booted!

            • August 13th 2017 @ 12:30pm
              Realist said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

              Boot the Waratahs or Reds…someone’s delusional

              • August 13th 2017 @ 3:31pm
                Jameswm said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

                Where do you think the Force players come from?

      • August 12th 2017 @ 6:04pm
        Bill said | August 12th 2017 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

        Yes. The same earu supplying all your players at our own detriment.

        • August 12th 2017 @ 7:36pm
          Peders said | August 12th 2017 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

          Do you see/hear Aucklanders jumping up and down that a fair chuck of the Crusaders are from their region including Kieren Read – No you don’t, this is the problem with eastern seaboard and Oz rugby, all they care about is their little corner not the national game. FYI the ARU haven’t supplied any players to the Force nor is that ever been their roll as the governing body.

          • August 12th 2017 @ 10:34pm
            Realist said | August 12th 2017 @ 10:34pm | ! Report

            There is a lot to build from.
            Perth Spirit are NRC Champions and pathways are seemingly starting to bear fruit.
            Don’t throw your toys out of the cot – embrace what you have and when you get to a stage you can supply your own players then Super Rugby will have failed and there may be room for another team again.
            WA was lucky the ARU stuck by the Force when the mining boom ended and sponsors folded.
            Show some spirit, some pride and make a genuine case to fight your way back.
            The case you have right now is based on promises only. You have to accept that

            • August 13th 2017 @ 1:45am
              AndyS said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:45am | ! Report

              But unlike NSW and Q’ld, none of the other states have the luxury of weighing up grassroots investment against a Super team. Outside of those two states, the SR team is what generates all the money for grassroots investment as the ARU provides next to nothing. So they’ve ensured there won’t be anything like that, as no SR team and no money from the ARU will mean no grassroots, no pathways, no NRC and no players. Just as it would in the two main states, except they own the bank.

    • August 11th 2017 @ 7:22pm
      Gormon Kinchley said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:22pm | ! Report

      That was the last straw for me. I’m switching to league.

      • August 12th 2017 @ 9:38am
        wag said | August 12th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        ME TOO !

        • August 13th 2017 @ 3:31pm
          Jameswm said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

          See ya

    • August 11th 2017 @ 7:24pm
      Cole said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

      I think if anything this will turn the NRL off starting a franchise for a while not see it as an opportunity to take over where Rugby left off. This isn’t over, Twiggy could bog down the ARU in legal action and just bankrupt them at this point and then we wouldn’t have to worry about how s#$t super rugby will be next year, we’ll all be watching the Shute shield and NRC and the Perth Spirit will be favourites!

    • August 11th 2017 @ 7:28pm
      mothy said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

      Because we live miles away we don’t deserve any right to have our own teams or play in fair or equitable competitions!

      I’d rather not be placated by NRL they already shafted us and I know there are other fans in Perth who want them so be it, but I am not one of them.

      The only fair and equitable competition left in the country at the moment is the Big Bash Cricket. At least for the moment teams play each other on fair terms.

      The loss of a professional rugby team to watch and follow at the stadiums both home and away has gutted me.

      To the ARU your BETRAYAL is unforgivable!!!!!

      • August 12th 2017 @ 5:06pm
        Justin Mahon said | August 12th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

        Um, Perth Glory have been playing equitable Home/Away league football out of Perth in a national league for 25 years. Even in the three round season they average H/A over two years like every other team. Perth get shafted in the Cup like all A-League clubs, but that about the draw maximizing smaller club/league opportunities. In the league finals series / Cup final the big games tend to be in the east – but not the league games themselves.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 12th 2017 @ 7:55pm
        Kirky said | August 12th 2017 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

        Mothy!! We do not want a League team here in WA, we want our rugby team, nothing less will suffice!

    • August 11th 2017 @ 7:31pm
      Todd Shand said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

      Its about money. Western Australia is a very small market that makes absolutely no money.

      That is why Tasmania doesn’t have an AFL team

      and why Western Australia have no rugby league or unions teams

      You gotta know who you are.

      small market.

      • August 11th 2017 @ 7:36pm
        Justin Kearney said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

        Todd the tasmanian market is miniscule compared to perth. The nrl should immediately take advantage of this situation and put a side in perth. Pity its run by nuffies.

        • August 11th 2017 @ 7:44pm
          Todd Shand said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

          And Perth is minuscule compared to Melbourne. Fact.

          There is no advertising revenue is Perth. Fact.

          you need to understand a commercial decision.

          Im sorry. you lost due to your size and the advertising dollar.

          Now you must accept your fate and move on.

          • August 11th 2017 @ 8:09pm
            RahRah said | August 11th 2017 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

            Yep, works well for the Storm doesn’t it. Multiple premierships and still no one in Melbourne has a clue who they are. The Rebels naming sponsor has ditched them and they can’t find another. Two owners and two financial catastrophes – you argument has no basis in fact.
            What is a fact is that Rugby Union has declined in this country since the introduction of the Melbourne Rebels.

            • August 11th 2017 @ 10:42pm
              Train Without A Station said | August 11th 2017 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

              Works ok.

              Their 2016 average attendance of 18k was better than all Super Rugby teams in Australia, and possibly even NZ.

              • August 12th 2017 @ 6:43pm
                Wozza said | August 12th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

                The Perth SW Australian market is two thirds that of all NZ. Hardly insignificant!

            • August 12th 2017 @ 8:38am
              Nambawan said | August 12th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

              According to my Melbourne based son in law and his family, The Storm are well regarded in Melbourne – particularly Smith and Co., although overall receive onlyt minimal press coverage.

          • August 11th 2017 @ 8:11pm
            markie362 said | August 11th 2017 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

            If there is no advertising revenue here in perth why do the force have such great sponsors you numptie.have you been here

            • August 11th 2017 @ 9:36pm
              Marcus McErlean said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

              Why didn’t the ARU set up in Melbourne in 2006 instead of in Perth? Obviously they weren’t thinking about the “market size” then. The fact is that teams can be set up in Alice Springs provided people watch the games on television and the broadcasting revenue (where the bulk of revenue comes from) will be the same for that team as anywhere else.

              • August 12th 2017 @ 5:33pm
                Brian said | August 12th 2017 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                There’s the problem. ARU stuffed up big time in letting the Force into the competition ahead of the Rebels 13 years ago. Got sucked in big time by a bunch of scarf wavers in the West. WA has the worst performing economy in Australia and people are leaving the State in droves. Melbourne has fastest growing population in Australia and room for all football codes. Storm are well known and a big success. Oh and another thing: the ARU owns the Force’s licence – it’s their property, they can basically do with it what they want as arbitration has shown. Force supporters should just suck it up on move on. Sour grapes big time to try and destroy the ARU by further litigation though won’t surprise if they are spurred on to do so by their massive inferiori
                ty complexes!!

            • August 11th 2017 @ 9:37pm
              Todd Shand said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

              There is no advertising money nationally in having a team in Western Australia.

              do you get it.?

              • August 12th 2017 @ 4:38pm
                Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                Why do you need NATIONAL…Just need to support WA players with WA money.

                DO YOU GET IT?

          • August 11th 2017 @ 9:54pm
            iSteves said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:54pm | ! Report

            Todd, you best not say anything more because all it shows is your ignorance. WA/Force finished second this year in AU Confrence, after just ten years, ahead of reds and tahs. As for Perth support base, well it’s a lot more passionate and arguably bigger than Melbourne’s, while our marketing potential includes a billionaire, along with the support of leading businesses and own the Force mums and dads. Duh

            • August 11th 2017 @ 10:29pm
              nigel brown said | August 11th 2017 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

              Todd is a Peanut

              • August 12th 2017 @ 4:28pm
                Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                He seems so silly compared to other peanuts I know

            • August 13th 2017 @ 5:44pm
              Realist said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

              Nice lone stat iSteves
              But the Farce have been around for 12 seasons and have never ‘ONCE’ finished in the top half of the draw – let alone the finals series yet QLD and NSW have delivered over 95% of the players and a couple of Championships.
              You will never win an argument for your team by using performance as a benchmark

          • August 11th 2017 @ 11:39pm
            ozinsa said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:39pm | ! Report

            Todd, surely this decision has to be about more than just money. I have no allegiance to WF or MR for that matter but this is a bloody depressing outcome that has taken months of misery to be delivered. I have defended the ARU management group and hate Wallaby “supporters” who threaten to stop supporting because they didn’t get the coach/player they preferred but this feels like a betrayal of the whole rugby community. I’d far prefer a merged Brumbies/Rebels side operating out of Melbourne/Canberra than to have simply cut WA Rugby off at the knees. Shame on the ARU.

          • August 12th 2017 @ 1:42pm
            Scott said | August 12th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

            Todd, they will move on – to AFL. If Australia can’t support 5 teams it says a lot about the poor management.and junior development

      • August 11th 2017 @ 7:42pm
        ajg said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

        How many AFL teams have WA got ?
        How many soccer and basketball teams?
        Yes a small market but one evidently with lots of support.

        and if it was about market size then the brumbies should have been cut.

        alternatively one could look at the oversaturated markets in sydney and more properly melbourne and argue that the super rugby teams are getting smaller slices of the pie there. This is almost certainly the case in melbourne. we can take the example of the melbourne storm from NRL – one of the most successful league clubs and yet a very small fan base. compare that to the rebels who have a tiny fan base and the argument about market size becomes much more complicated and goes against what you are saying

        just ask yourself this. would there be as much of an outpouring of anger and sadness if the rebels were cut? In the case of the Force youve got WA supporters and supporters from the east coast (like me a tahs fan) fuming

        • August 11th 2017 @ 7:51pm
          Todd Shand said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

          Commercial realities say Football Codes must have a foothold in Melbourne to be commercially successful in Australia.

          Perth is like playing on Mars.

          commercially and advertising wise it is dead.

          Nobody cares.

          • August 11th 2017 @ 8:56pm
            Hunter said | August 11th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

            But maintain a franchise in Canberra???…yeah that makes sense.

            I wonder which Super rugby team will be on the chopping board next? Can’t seeing the ARU’s financial situation improving anytime soon.

            Rugby in Australia is dying a slow painful death.

          • August 11th 2017 @ 11:30pm
            Ben said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:30pm | ! Report

            Your logic is as sound as the ARU’s. You’re one of the hopeless ignoramus elite that is sinking rugby in Aus. Pathetic.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 12th 2017 @ 8:00pm
              Kirky said | August 12th 2017 @ 8:00pm | ! Report

              Ben, rugby in Australia is not sinking mate it’s already sunk, and it will be very, very doubtful as to whether rugby will ever come out of this absolute debacle any time soon!

          • August 12th 2017 @ 8:53am
            Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

            Geez Bill…OOOps I mean Todd…pitty you dont know anything about sport…Money pays players this year……development produces players for years to come….melbourne can pay players now but does not develop players for the future

            • Roar Guru

              August 12th 2017 @ 2:57pm
              Train Without A Station said | August 12th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

              You may be right on your summation of Todd, but you’re wrong about Melbourne.

              They are producing elite Schoolboy and U20s talent. WA are producing very little. They had 2 WA produced players in this years 20s and 1 last year as well as no schoolboys.

              This year has been a bad year for Melbourne with only 3 or 4 Melbourne produced players in the 20s and 2 in the schoolboys, but last year it was double that number.

              Below the current stream of local Force players (in age), Victoria is producing more talent right now.

              • August 12th 2017 @ 5:01pm
                andrewM said | August 12th 2017 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

                TWAS, look closely at this year’s Schoolboys squad – at least two QLD players are ex-WA from previous years, offered scholarships from Qld schools that were too good to refuse. I’ve been told by one Union club president that they also lost other players to League in Qld as well

      • August 11th 2017 @ 7:45pm
        screwthearu said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

        Todd Shand, The rebels made less money than the force – had to get bailed out multiple times compare to the force only once, plus they received more handouts from the ARU, had better marquee player provisions, had worse attendance figures, were typically lower in the tables, …

        • Roar Guru

          August 12th 2017 @ 2:58pm
          Train Without A Station said | August 12th 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

          No. They were typically higher on the tables and until now the last few years had better attendance.

      • August 11th 2017 @ 8:12pm
        Bill larkin said | August 11th 2017 @ 8:12pm | ! Report

        Spot on. These facts will be lost in all the emotional responses.

        Tasmania will never have an AFL team despite having some of the most passionate fans in the nation.

        • August 11th 2017 @ 9:40pm
          Marcus McErlean said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

          Gold Coast (576K) have virtually the same population as Tasmania (515K). Tasmania undoubtedly have more AFL fans then the coast. It’s time Tassie got an AFL team.

          • August 11th 2017 @ 9:56pm
            superba said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

            Move the Force to Hobart then.

            • August 11th 2017 @ 11:06pm
              Big boob said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

              Have seen rugby goals in Hobart at the uni down near Sandy Bay.

          • August 12th 2017 @ 8:55am
            Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

            Markus 40k up the road from the gold coast is a little town called Brisbane…Where is the little town just up the road from Tasmania?..

        • August 11th 2017 @ 9:40pm
          Marcus McErlean said | August 11th 2017 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

          Gold Coast (576K) have virtually the same population as Tasmania (515K). Tasmania undoubtedly have more AFL fans then the coast. It’s time Tassie got an AFL team.

          • August 12th 2017 @ 4:34pm
            Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

            greater Brisbane area, Including GC is 2 million not to mention that Tassie is quite spread out and its 6-7 hrs drive from Hobart tyo some parts of tassie yet you include ALL of the Population

        • August 11th 2017 @ 11:32pm
          Ben said | August 11th 2017 @ 11:32pm | ! Report

          You guys are so simple I’m amazed you worked out how to create a Roar account

      • Roar Pro

        August 12th 2017 @ 9:28am
        boonboon said | August 12th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Perth has 2 million people for 2 teams, Melbourne has 4 million people for what 9 AFl, 1 League and 1 Union – Seems Perth had much more potential locally and for national brands 2 million is still a lot – trust me I work for one

    • August 11th 2017 @ 7:37pm
      Taurangaboy said | August 11th 2017 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

      Time to merge rugby and league. I’m serious.

      • August 12th 2017 @ 11:48am
        Adrian Denyer said | August 12th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Your dead right, but no-one here will acknowledge that.
        It’ll happen within 20 years.

        Most action will be NRL, but internationals will be Union

        • August 12th 2017 @ 4:45pm
          Jacko said | August 12th 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

          Yeah right….those 200 countries that play Union will all swap over to league just to be in line with Aus…And good luck to those league players come scrums, lineouts, rucks and mauls…

          • August 12th 2017 @ 8:17pm
            664 the neighbour of the beast said | August 12th 2017 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

            Yep…Australian rugby is collapsing so let’s merge the codes and stuff tradition and other countries that enjoy rugby. Such Aussie arrogance!

            • August 13th 2017 @ 5:53pm
              Realist said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

              I guess it is arrogant but then Aussies have always been great sporting innovators – AFL, Various Forms of cricket etc
              It wouldn’t be the worst idea given how referees are still having to rely on guesswork for some of the scrummaging.

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