Decisions ahead for Force rugby players


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    The Australian Rugby Union will address the anticipated scramble for the services of Western Force player but the CEO of the axed Super Rugby franchise says their personnel don’t need to make immediate decisions.

    The ARU on Friday announced the Force would be the Australian team cut from the Super Rugby competition.

    RugbyWA are set to take out an injunction against the ARU’s decision and if the Perth-based franchise win a right of appeal, they will take the case to the Supreme Court

    “There’s no need for any immediate decisions from the players, and they’re aware of that,” Force CEO Mark Sinderberry said.

    Asked if there was any restrictions on other teams recruiting Force players or if it was open slather, ARU boss Bill Pulver said: We’ll start that exercise on Monday.

    “All the contracted players will have their contracts honoured and hopefully most of them will actually find a new Super Rugby team.

    “If they don’t we’ll allow them to have an early release. If they don’t want an early release we will still honour their contracts.”

    The Australian squad for the first two Bledisloe Cup Tests includes six Force players.

    Among those likely to be most coveted by other teams are lock Adam Coleman, winger Dane Haylett-Petty and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.

    ARU chairman Cameron Clyne emphasised cutting a team would free up money to go to other areas.

    “If you continue to make a decision to invest in Super Rugby you are making a conscious decision not to invest somewhere else, there’s only a limited pot,” Clyne said.

    ‘Our Wallaroos were extraordinary yesterday (at the Women’s World Cup), only just losing by two points they deserve a lot more support.

    “They are not getting the level of financial support they deserve, nor is community rugby, nor is schools rugby.

    ‘We’re just saying we need to reallocate some of the pie to those things.”

    Clyne emphasised having four competitive sides would improve Australia’s bargaining position when it came to discussing Super Rugby’s controversial format.

    ‘We have to be very careful that Australian teams are performing so we can retain some ability to have influence over those conference structures in the future,” Clyne said.

    “If people don’t think Australia is worthy of playing from a high-performance perspective, we will not have the ability to influence what could be good outcomes for Australian rugby.

    ‘As difficult as this is, this is a significant step forward in positioning us to have a better Super Rugby structure in the period going forward.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • August 12th 2017 @ 2:20pm
      Mothy said | August 12th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

      Australia doesn’t want to invest in WA is the way I read it. We are just a carcass that the rest of the vultures want to pick from!

      • Roar Pro

        August 12th 2017 @ 6:22pm
        Crazy Horse said | August 12th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

        Correction. Sydney private schoolboy clique does not want to invest in the fastest growing rugby state in Australia. They’d rather be big fish in a little pond.

        You got the vulture part right. Their plan is to plunder WA Rugby to benefit Sydney. What’s the bet that the Force coaching staff get an offer to coach the Tahs on Monday!

        • August 13th 2017 @ 11:45am
          Realist said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

          Heartland States are sick of having the parasitic Vultures from Subiaco trying to snap up rising stars with the help of the ARU’s chequebook. Face the reality guys – 12 years of investment from the East Coast clubs and you’ve produced not far off sweet f£€k all.
          Time to dig in and prove your worth of you ever want to join a professional comp.
          Too entitled in WA – the mining boom is history.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 1:13pm
            Sheikh said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

            So 14 locally produced players in the matchday 23 isn’t producing our own players?
            How about 2 entirely local players (DHP & Hardwick) making the Wallabies this year?

            When the Force was started up we didn’t get to sign 10 foreign players (unlike the Rebels), so we looked for one or two stars (eg, Sharpie), local players and fringe players from NSW and Qld, eg, Hodgson, not wanted by the Waratahs and Pocock & O’Connor, sitting in the Queensland juniors.

            It was always going to take a while to produce our own players, but now that we are producing local players of Super Rugby and Wallaby standard we’ve been cut. So that’s 12 years of investment down the pan. Great choice.

            Oh, and we haven’t been at Subaico for 8 years. Great to know you are keeping up with current news! 😉

            • August 13th 2017 @ 1:30pm
              Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              I’m sick of the exaggeration and lies coming out of WA.

              Somebody claimed that 15 local players were in the squad.

              That’s local players like Shambeckler Vui, a QLD Under 20 at 18.

              Michael Ruru, a Hawkes Bay capped NPC player.

              James Verity-Amm, a Western Province U21 rep.

              The Force are recruiting their own talent and Realist’s rant is a joke as he fails to consider that the Force only pick up unwanted talent who leave for opportunity, lets keep it accurate, not try and exaggerate every claim.

              • August 13th 2017 @ 4:30pm
                Sheikh said | August 13th 2017 @ 4:30pm | ! Report

                TWAS, the three players you mentioned were all told they were surplus to requirements in their local competition. They all came to Perth to get a job and play in the local comp, the Pindan. They all got noticed playing for their local clubs and were promoted to the Force via the Perth Spirit and Future Force academy. What other definition of local players do you have? Otherwise, Quade Cooper is a Kiwi and Stephan Moore a Saudi Arabian!

              • August 13th 2017 @ 5:42pm
                Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

                Really? An 18 year old was told he was surplus to requirements?

              • August 13th 2017 @ 7:45pm
                Ex force fan said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                JOf course there are also WA players pouched from our pathways. E.g. Nick Jooste and Kyle Godwin. It is not one way traffic. The irony is that the Force is delivering their own players and much less dependent on QLD and NSW than the Rebels.

              • August 13th 2017 @ 9:31pm
                Sheikh said | August 13th 2017 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

                TWAS, yep.

              • Roar Guru

                August 14th 2017 @ 9:07am
                Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

                Ex Force Fan that’s completely untrue.

                The Rebels have almost as many local players.

                On Sheikh’s flawed metric, they’d have more actually.

                But still the following local players are contracted:

                1. Fereti Sa’aga
                2. Jordan Uelese
                3. Siliva Siliva
                4. Murray Douglas
                5. Ikapote Tupai
                6. Rob Leota
                7. Sefa Naivalu
                8. Sione Tuipulotu
                9. Ah-mu Tuimalealiifano

                I think after 6 years the Force had Dane HAylett-Petty and Justin Turner for locals.

                So not really ironic because as the better performing Rebels 20s continue to filter into the senior ranks there will be more and more locals in the Rebels squad.

          • Roar Rookie

            August 13th 2017 @ 6:45pm
            Kirky said | August 13th 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

            Realist! Get off here clown, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!

            The Force use their own mate and a few expat Kiwis and South Africans and you know it!

            I wouldn’t use the word vultures rosebud, as they all fly around your defunct areas of Aussie’ and you and your no hoper broke rugby sides are just hoping the Force players go there, they won’t, as Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are all broke and losing Franchises’ as per the last Season, were you not last on the Aussie ladder?

          • Roar Rookie

            August 14th 2017 @ 2:46pm
            piru said | August 14th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

            Heartland States are sick of having the parasitic Vultures from Subiaco trying to snap up rising stars with the help of the ARU’s chequebook

            Didn’t realise the West Coast Eagles were stealing rising rugbyt stars.

            Force haven’t played in Subiaco for years

      • August 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm
        markie362 said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

        If the wallaroos need more money stop topping up ex league stars like folau and hunt and cut costs at aur hq

    • Roar Pro

      August 12th 2017 @ 6:29pm
      Crazy Horse said | August 12th 2017 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

      The Treasurer of my WA community rugby club will be no doubt anxiously waiting for a phone call from Clyne telling him how much of the savings from the Force he can expect to receive.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 13th 2017 @ 1:33am
      Kirky said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:33am | ! Report

      If I was a Force player I would never budge, the ARU can’t make any Force player do anything they don’t want to do! ~ What player for example would want to waste their talents playing for any of the four Sub Standard teams that remain, there’s not one decent team or Coach that could give encouragement to any player in Australian rugby! ~ Rugby Australia is as dead as a dodo, it’s blown any substance they had as a body right out of the water and wrecked the game as we know it! ~ There’s no possible way any players from the Force particularly could ever enjoy rugby turning out for the current no hoper teams left!
      Try New Zealand as I’m sure there are placements all over the Country in all Divisions that would be only too happy to accomodate any players of Force quality, or suss out the UK, anywhere but Australian rugby they’re now dinosaurs! – Hang in there guys and do what you want to do as no one person can force you to do anything! All the very best to you all, I for one are absolutely proud of all the Force Players, Staff and everyone else who has been involved with the Club whatever!

      • August 13th 2017 @ 11:57am
        Realist said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

        You’re not a Force player Kirky (thank god) and some of the players are probably more ambitious than you might think.
        For instance, some of these players may want to experience finals football one day.
        A highly unlikely goal for a member of the Western Force. Aussie rugby is in a hole at the moment but this is the way back. Personally I would have chopped the Rebels too if it’s any consolation

        • August 13th 2017 @ 1:19pm
          Sheikh said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

          Great to know that you agree with what the Force supporters have suspected all along – that the Force were never going to be allowed to experience finals football. Every time we convert great potential into a great player they leave for the Eastern States where they have more chance of being picked for the Wallabies (see: Pocock, O’Connor, Ioane, Mitchell, etc).

          • August 13th 2017 @ 6:51pm
            nmpcart said | August 13th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

            That is the problem when you recruit players from a different part of the country – their ties (family etc) are back in another location so at some stage they may want to go back there and if the opportunity to do so while still being a pro rugby player comes up then they may do so. That’s not a criticism of the Force, just the reality of when you get players from another location, and WA’s isolation adds to that. Other teams have faced the same situation when they have recruited players from outside their area and players will head towards teams where they feel they might get more success – the Brumbies have traded on this for a long time.

            • August 13th 2017 @ 7:30pm
              Realist said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

              Equally as absurd is the fact these players were all identified early and the Force swooped with ARU top-ups and favour in a bid to push them off the bottom of the ladder.
              It really did wonders for James O’Connor throwing him into the bright lights so young didn’t it?

              • Roar Rookie

                August 14th 2017 @ 2:47pm
                piru said | August 14th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                Didn’t seem to hurt Pocock and Coleman

              • Roar Guru

                August 14th 2017 @ 3:16pm
                Train Without A Station said | August 14th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

                Coleman is nowhere near the same boat though Piru. Was 22 and had been through the Brumbies and Waratahs systems before he went to the Force.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 10:29pm
            bradm said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

            All enticed from the eastern states in the first place with big $$$$ courtesy of ARU backing and all just waiting the first opportunity available to them to get back home.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 13th 2017 @ 7:18pm
          Kirky said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

          Realist, I don’t know where you hanker from sunbeam and I care less, but don’t tell me or any other Force player Supporter or otherwise they would be better off playing for Waratahs, Reds, Rebels or the Brumbies, hell I just saw on a rugby page that Christian Leia liafano has joined Ulster!

          The three teams mentioned plus the bankrupt Rebels can’t win as proved and are poorly and badly Coached so unless it suits any Force players for the money or whatever, they’d be utter fools to go to any of them, ~they are vulture like bludgers!

          Hopefully they’ll either play in Perth or go overseas and let you guys sink further into the brown than you are now!

      • August 13th 2017 @ 12:46pm
        markie362 said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

        If the aru is going to honour all these contracts where is there savings to be made

        • August 13th 2017 @ 1:35pm
          Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

          The entire Force squad isn’t signed for next year as it it.

          Likewise every other squad.

          Currently contracted players will be consolidated.

          The total salary cap with 5 teams is $27.5M

          With 4 it would be $22M. The cap for 2018 will likely fall somewhere around $25M in total for 4 teams then revert to normal for 2019 as few players from any franchise are contracted past 2018.

          So they should save $6.7M per year ($5.5M cap plus $1.2M team grant) less the extra costs incurred to honour contracts. So probably somewhere around $15-18M for 3 years.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 5:30pm
            ScottD said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

            Less what they will have to subsidise the Rebels who are near broke, don’t have any reasonable sponsorship and who have already had to be bailed out twice in their short life. Make no mistake Cox couldn’t afford to keep them running at the $2-3m year losses and that was on top of the $13.8 m losses that the ARU stumped up for.
            This whole debacle will end up costing the ARU and the Rebels won’t exist past their 2020 license.

            • August 13th 2017 @ 5:44pm
              Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

              Unless the Rebels have secured a financial backer for 2018.

              Possibly the same party that paid the Rebels debt to allow a sale without ARU approval.

              A TAC head sponsorship would enable them to break even.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 7:02pm
            LMS said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

            they will also be 4million down next year, as they won’t be getting an advance on their Bledisloe money

            • August 13th 2017 @ 7:53pm
              Ex force fan said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

              And their legal fees. WA government should can the AB/WB game and replace it with an NRL test

            • Roar Guru

              August 13th 2017 @ 8:54pm
              Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

              But then they’ll also be $4M up in 2019. Which will be really handy in a RWC year.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 1:38pm
        Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

        Force players will do one of two things:

        If they wish to play for the Wallabies or stay in Australia they will evaluate where they will likely get the best opportunity and go there;

        Or they will look to line up the best possible overseas contract.

        The ARU will honour all contracts currently signed, but also release any player who asks.

        No player is going to stay in protest of the Force and give up 1 year of their limited career because they are well aware the Force would not re-sign them if they were surplus to requirements in the future.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 13th 2017 @ 7:25pm
          Kirky said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

          Why would they go to a hopeless Franchise as all are here in Australia, just to get a game with a hopeless International side a la the Wallabies?

          If they do it right they’ll head overseas and I hope they do!

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2017 @ 8:55pm
            Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

            Well they have stayed at the Force for varying periods of time.

            The Force was more hopeless than all 4 other franchises in 2016 and they were all keen to stay for 2017.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 10:36pm
            bradm said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

            Oh Kirky, I understand exactly where you’re coming from given the force were repeated world champion team.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 1:23pm
      zubrick said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

      ex force centre/wing luke morahan currently plying his trade for bristol have just signed up
      16 test all black charles piutau on a million quid a season deal
      great financial opportunities over there by the looks
      force axing is tragic for all involved but when one door closes another may open
      no doubt european and japanese clubs will be scanning the ex force list for players

      • Roar Guru

        August 13th 2017 @ 8:56pm
        Train Without A Station said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

        You think European clubs having been waiting for teams to fold to poach players?

    • August 13th 2017 @ 2:39pm
      puff said | August 13th 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

      Cameron Clyne in his speech to the masses declared nothing new or riveting, just the same old rhetoric, packaged in a different box. Had Clyne & Pulver been at the top of their game, they would have communicated to all and sundry about all the initiatives that the board had created to strengthen both the quality of governance and the code throughout the country. This we did not hear. Therefore the argument becomes a little more mystifying, did the ARU sacrifice the Force so women’s rugby in both 15’s & 7’s could survive professionally and financially. Paying Pocock such a generous four year sabbatical retainer is not a smart investment, such funds would have been more than welcome in Ireland by the Wallaroo’s who are missing the ingenuity to close out big matches. Clyne’s statement saying, ‘having four competitive sides would improve Australia’s bargaining position when it came to discussing Super Rugby’s controversial format ” sounds brave. To be fair, there is a big disparity in player quality / ability between NZ and OZ super teams, reducing the number of teams will do little to fortify performance. To be honest very few of our players would make an NZ team period, hence the problem. If you follow viewer trends, there is little interest shown outside Australia, regarding the OZ conference. It’s the NZ teams that captivate most of interest worldwide. The viewing public isn’t uninformed, they desire to watch the best. Nevertheless it’s a courageous reckless move by the ARU to completely alienate a state where the code is gathering strength not like Victoria / Canberra and will have so much to offer moving forward. In my opinion there are no silver bullets, so unless the ARU clean house and elects visionaries with a passion for the sport not moppets, the sport will continue to hemorrhage, viewer respect, grassroots interest and sponsorship involvement and the Force will be lost for eternity.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 4:02pm
      David said | August 13th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

      The force players should go overseas or to the NRL, especially those in the wallabies. Then the ARU will pay you ‘overs’ to come back in a few years, eg Beale, Genia and anyone that plays on a wing in the NRL. Or take a sabbatical and ask for $750k like Pocock.

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