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.”