CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 24: Tatafu Polota-Nau of the Force (C) and his team mates look dejected after conceding a try during the round five Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Force at AMI Stadium on March 24, 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Western Force reportedly set to be axed

The 6th of April could be day that the Western Force franchise comes to an end.

The decision will be based around whether SANZAAR agrees to cut two South African teams from the Super Rugby format which would see the competition streamlined to a 15-team competition next season.

The Force, ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels are the three teams facing the axe however it has been reported that the ARU will give the two east coast teams a lifeline, meaning the Force will no longer remain.

Force chairman Tony Howarth believes the club was set up for failure 12 years ago when he was formed.

“When the Force was set up, in some ways, it was set up a bit to fail,” he told Perth radio station 6PR.

“The AFL at the time (of West Coast’s introduction) were quite happy to see a team in Western Australia, but the last thing they wanted it to do was to beat a Victorian team,” Howarth said.

“We’ve had the same thing in Super Rugby, even to the extent where the ability for us to get talent here in the west is severely challenged. We’ve been addressing that in growing our own.”

Should the Force (or any club) be axed, the ARU will take control of the roster with players contracted for next season and beyond set to be told which Australian clubs they’ll join next season.

The Force were taken over by the ARU last season amid serious financial issues while their lack of TV viewership has contributed to this decision. Just last week, they launched a new ownership campaign, wanting fronts to pay $1000 in the recently public company.

Should South Africa decide to remain an 18-team competition, the Force will remain in the competition, leaving the ARU red faced.

The Perth-based team has failed to make the finals in any of their 11 seasons in the competition.

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