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Thread: Force, Rebels in danger of player raids as Super Rugby saga drags on

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Force, Rebels in danger of player raids as Super Rugby saga drags on

    April 27, 2017 2:59pm|
    by Justin Chadwick, AAP|
    Source: FOX SPORTS



    THE Western Force and Melbourne Rebels are in danger of being stripped bare of their uncontracted stars as the saga surrounding the future of their franchises continues to drag on.

    Either the Rebels or Force will be axed under the ARU’s plans to have just four Australian franchises compete in a revamped 15-team Super Rugby competition from next year.

    After announcing the plan on April 9, the ARU was hoping to have finalised its decision on who to cut within 72 hours.

    But with the Force and Rebels both threatening legal action in a bid to stave off extinction, the saga has dragged on — with a decision unlikely to be made for at least several weeks.

    With lawyers now involved, it’s highly unlikely the situation will be resolved by the time SANZAAR holds its next board meeting for the week of May 10 in Tokyo.

    In the meantime, both the Force and Rebels are unable to re-sign any players who aren’t in the Wallabies picture.

    It’s left both franchises vulnerable to player raids from rival outfits.

    And with overseas opportunities set to dry up over the next month, a host of Force and Rebels players may jump ship early in the fear their franchise may not survive the axe.

    Force winger Luke Morahan has already announced he will link up with English outfit Bristol, and a number of his teammates have also been approached by overseas sides.

    The Rebels are also trying their best to fend off rival raids. But like the Force, their hands are tied while the uncertainty drags on.

    Force foundation player Pek Cowan is contracted through to 2018, and has no intention of seeking a deal elsewhere.

    But he fears some of his teammates may be left with little option but to sign with a rival franchise in order to secure their future.

    “The overseas window closes in a month or two,” Cowan said.

    “For guys who are sitting and hoping, I guess the decision’s being made for them.

    “The longer this takes, the less time they have, and I guess the more likelihood they’re forced to make a different decision other than opting to stay here.”

    A planned meeting between the Force and ARU on Thursday was cancelled, with the exact reasons unclear.

    Earlier this week, former Wallabies coach John Connolly said a merger between the Rebels and Brumbies was the best option.

    But the ARU remain adamant it is still going ahead with plans to axe either the Force or the Rebels.

    The Force attracted a crowd of 14,089 for last week’s loss to the Chiefs, and Cowan said the support had meant the world to the players.

    “The support is definitely growing. We feel that as a group,” Cowan said.

    “WA is a massive state, and we’ve got clubs and people playing far further out than just the Perth regional area.

    “In that sense, we’ve definitely got a lot of support. What’s going on around us is drawing the community in together.”

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/fo...4dba4a5c3c07eb

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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    Jeez the FUARU are skating on thin ice....in fact I think they have fallen through. Not allowing an EXISTING franchise to sign players is surely illegal. FFS what litigation will follow if half the team departs AND the franchise is there for next season.

    This can bankrupt them

    Edit: I have just made the mental connection with Rainy being named the one and only suspect. Unfortunate I know but very similar analogy

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    I really don't understand. I thought the 'no signings' ban applied to ALL the franchises, not just the Force and Rebels?? Surely they can't restrict it just to us two? That would surely be a step too far, even for the ARU!

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    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    Maybe this is the ARU's cunning plan!
    Cunning stunts!

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    I don't think there are too many stars in either team.

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    Champion Tonkar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloppy View Post
    I don't think there are too many stars in either team.
    Keep that up Sloppy and you could be see more stars than those on the rugby pitch

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloppy View Post
    I don't think there are too many stars in either team.
    I guess it depends on your definition of the term stars. Since I don't think stars means overpaid prima donnas who waltz into the wallabies because they went to the right school and suffer heart failure the instant somebody challenges them, I think both the force and the rebels have their fair share.

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    C'mon the

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Everyone who pulls on a Force jersey is a star in my eyes!

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    Rookie Nic's Avatar
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    We don't need (want) prima donna's in the team. Remember when JOC left because he needed somewhere to build on his "brand"?..

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloppy View Post
    I don't think there are too many stars in either team.
    It's ok, I think that same about the Waratahs.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    I was heartened to hear Hansie tell Alan Jones that our players are not signing international contracts in favour of staying at the Force.

    Even if it might be pumped up a little for the media, if more than one bloke who has been approached by an international club has rejected the offer, I'm proud!

    That shows a level of commitment in adversity that surely goes beyond that which most of us are capable!

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    Senior Player Herbasimplex's Avatar
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    They should file separate proceedings against the ARU as this is a separate cause of action. Can't let the ARU get away with this and we need to act now as this is hurting us now.

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    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbasimplex View Post
    They should file separate proceedings against the ARU as this is a separate cause of action. Can't let the ARU get away with this and we need to act now as this is hurting us now.
    And on a separate note: do the players have individual rights to also take legal action against the ARU due to the threats against their livelihood and existing contracts? Damages claims by players could blowout, unless the Players Union is helping them, although they seem to be doing sweet FA as well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbasimplex View Post
    They should file separate proceedings against the ARU as this is a separate cause of action. Can't let the ARU get away with this and we need to act now as this is hurting us now.
    Wouldn't it be better as a class action?

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    C'mon the

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