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Thread: Western Force back in the fold in new domestic competition

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    Senior Player Leo86's Avatar
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    Western Force back in the fold in new domestic competition

    The coronavirus pandemic will be the source of one of the most unlikely reunification stories in Australian sport, with the Western Force set to be welcomed back into the rugby fold in a five-team domestic competition starting next month.

    It will be the first time since 2017 that Australia's five professional rugby teams will play together, after the Force were rubbed out from Australia's Super Rugby footprint in a brutal and bitter cost-cutting exercise by then RA boss Bill Pulver and chairman Cameron Clyne.

    Andrew Forrest has approved a plan that will see the Western Force play alongside its former Super Rugby rivals in a domestic competition starting next month.
    Andrew Forrest has approved a plan that will see the Western Force play alongside its former Super Rugby rivals in a domestic competition starting next month.CREDIT:RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

    Provided government restrictions and guidelines on travel and gatherings allow it, the Force are set to play once again against their former Super Rugby rivals the Waratahs, Brumbies, Reds and Rebels, in a national subsitute for the trans-continental Super Rugby competition.

    Senior state officials confirmed the news was likely to be announced late on Friday, with the five teams set to play a home-and-away round robin tournament starting on the first weekend of April.

    The coronavirus outbreak is the unlikely push factor reuniting two organisations, and the West Australian rugby community, who were two years ago bitter exes.

    The pandemic forced billionaire magnate Andrew Forrest to pull the pin on the first full season of Global Rapid Rugby, while Super Rugby's cancellation and international travel bans forced RA to conjure a broader solution to a proposed intra-conference competition including Japan's Sunwolves.

    More to come

    https://www.watoday.com.au/sport/rug...20-p54cbd.html

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    "The coronavirus outbreak is the unlikely push factor reuniting two organisations, and the West Australian rugby community, who were two years ago bitter exes."

    OK, just because bitter exes are forced to cohabitate by a global pandemic doesn't mean they aren't exes, or bitter for that matter.

    I personally can't wait to see how this "lesser standard" team stacks up against the other Aussie franchises, it's not like we have anything to lose!

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    C'mon the

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    Who's paying the bills?

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    I would hope this is on an open book basis and the Force is receiving a straight 1/5th share of all broadcast and sponsor revenues...!

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo86 View Post
    .... in a national subsitute for the trans-continental Super Rugby competition......
    So like a National Rugby Competition?

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    Senior Player Leo86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueandblack View Post
    So like a National Rugby Competition?
    Yeh, but dont call it 'that' haha

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    Senior Player Leo86's Avatar
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    I assume it wont be under GRR rules or even a hybrid version. So it will be the Force who will need to adapt. Hope we continue to play running rugby

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo86 View Post
    I assume it wont be under GRR rules or even a hybrid version. So it will be the Force who will need to adapt. Hope we continue to play running rugby
    I think that's the weak spot for the other teams.

    Wasn't the Woodies game played under Stupor Rugby rules?

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    C'mon the

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    So do we get to pad our squad with ring-ins to get it back to the old Super Rugby standard? Or do we field a side which is essentially an NRC-strength side against Super Rugby sides? How about some of our old players coming back, since we're now in the same competition and on a "level" playing field?

    Have they given thought to an expanded NRC this year instead? Proper home and away season, with full-strength teams?

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    Last edited by chibi; 20-03-20 at 15:33.


    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    READ RUGBY AUSTRALIA’S FULL STATEMENT BELOW

    The four Australian Super Rugby clubs, Rugby Australia, and RUPA have agreed to proceed towards the finalisation of a domestic competition model as part of SANZAAR’s solution for the remainder of the 2020 Vodafone Super Rugby season.

    The 18-round Vodafone Super Rugby season was suspended at the completion of Round 7 following travel restrictions imposed by the New Zealand and Australian Governments, and over the past week officials from across each of the five countries involved have held talks over the future of the 2020 competition.

    The continuation of the competition in Australia will involve the four Australian teams playing within Australia only, in a round robin home-and-away format beginning on April 3. Discussions are continuing at SANZAAR level and with competition broadcasters on the specifics of the draw and Finals Series. All matches would be played in closed venues in line with current Australian Government restrictions on public gatherings.

    Following the unfortunate withdrawal of Japan’s Sunwolves, who are part of the Australian Super Rugby conference, due to new travel restrictions imposed by the Australian Government on Thursday, Rugby Australia has approached the Western Force to join the four Australian Super Rugby teams to play in the new proposed domestic model.

    Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “Rugby Australia, the four Australian Super Rugby teams and RUPA are united behind the continuation of Super Rugby in 2020 and have been intensively working towards a competition solution with our SANZAAR partners over the past six days. There are still some elements to work through as a group, but we are extremely confident that we will deliver a meaningful product for the remainder of the season for fans and broadcasters.

    “We have agreed on the principles of proceeding down the path of a domestic solution in Australia which will see our teams compete against each other in a round robin format from April through June, followed by a yet to be determined Finals Series format.

    “While our focus has been on developing a competition model that will enable us to meet our commitments to fans and broadcasters, careful attention has also been given to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the welfare of our players, support staff and match officials under the new proposed model. The Chief Medical Officers of each nation have been integral to these discussions, and together with the announcement of the new competition we will be announcing a range of measures and protocols to be introduced for the remainder of the season in the interest of protecting and safeguarding our athletes.

    “In what has been a challenging time for everyone in our sport, we have seen the Rugby bodies in Australia come together to put their full weight behind finding a way for our game to continue in 2020 and on behalf of Rugby Australia I offer our sincere gratitude to SANZAAR and each of our Super Rugby teams, RUPA, Global Rapid Rugby and the Western Force, and FOX SPORTS.”

    “We hope to provide a further update on the Super Rugby season with our SANZAAR partners in the coming days.”

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    Wonder how many overseas players might have made a run for home now they are closing the borders...?

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    Legend Contributor fulvio sammut's Avatar
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    Great to see all rugby is equal in Australia.

    I presume the local competition will resume immediately as well?

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    haven't seen the flying pig yet ,Fulvio

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    Is it safe to expose our Western Force players to squads flying in from the eastern States?

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    Hate to bring it up, but are we again saddled with their choice of refs again? Groan.

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