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Western Force skipper Ian Prior is confident there will be a World Series Rugby competition next year, saying the players are keeping the faith in billionaire Andrew Forrest.
The Force’s future looked bleak when they were axed from Super Rugby at the end of last season.
But Forrest revived the franchise with the launch of World Series Rugby, and he has big plans for the future.
The Force have played four exhibition games in front of big crowds so far this year with another three games to come.
But the true test will come next year when WSR converts into a proper competition format featuring up to eight teams from the Asia Pacific region.
Organisers hope to announce further details shortly after the August 17 clash between the Force and the Panasonic Wild Knights at nib Stadium.
As it stands players are still in the dark as to the finer points of what WSR will look like next year.
But Prior said the players weren’t in any doubt it will go ahead.
“We’ve been getting some feedback that next year is going to go ahead,” Prior said.
“We should have some more clarity over the next couple of months.
“But from what we’ve heard, there’s been some encouraging signs with discussions … with other teams.
“The positive signs are there. We’ve just got to keep our faith in them, and make sure we keep working hard on the field.”
Prior said the players were comforted knowing they had Forrest backing them.
“It was a leap of faith (from the players) coming here to start with,” Prior said.
“But you’ve seen how quickly World Series Rugby has come together.
“And seeing how involved Andrew is and how keen he is to get the whole World Series Rugby off the ground and running as the premier competition in the world is quite exciting.”
The Force will be back in action on Saturday night when they take on a Samoan representative side at nib Stadium.