Super Rugby: The Western Force are set to face the axe from the competition if SANZAAR decide to move to a 15 team competition.
THE Rugby Union Players’ Association has launched an online petition in a bid to help retain five Australian teams in Super Rugby.
RUPA is urging Australian rugby’s stakeholders to show their support as the Western Force, Melbourne Rebels and Brumbies fight to remain in the competition beyond this year.
As SANZAAR continues to consider its model for 2018, the competition’s ruling body is believed to be ready to cut one Australian franchise and two South African sides.
It appears the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds are safe, leaving RUPA concerned that 20 per cent of Australia’s Super Rugby players could be at risk of losing their jobs.
“Current players, former Wallaby greats, corporate supporters, governments and past rugby administrators have spoken out in recent weeks backing the long-term retention of all five Australian Super Rugby teams,” RUPA boss Ross Xenos said in a statement on Thursday.
LIVE stream 2017 Vodafone Super Rugby on FOX SPORTS. Get your free 2-week FOXTEL PLAY trial and start watching in minutes. SIGN UP NOW >
“RUPA launches the Stronger as Five petition today to constructively bring together that support from all over the country.
“Without a final decision having been made by SANZAAR and the ARU, we encourage the rugby community to show their support for the vibrant, aspirational and successful five team future that Australian rugby deserves.”
The micro-site also details concerns that RUPA has regarding the impacts of any reduction, including weakened economic potential, decreased playing and coaching opportunities and the protection of expansion teams in Argentina and Japan at the expense of Australian teams.
RUPA says “all of Australia’s rugby players remain staunchly united in their opposition to any mooted alternative models which would reduce Australia’s representation in the Super Rugby competition for 2018 and beyond, a point made last month prior to the SANZAAR Executive Committee meeting in London.
“This petition provides a genuine opportunity for fans, coaches and administrators to join with the players and influence one of the most critical decisions in the game’s history in Australia.
“It’s time for Australian Rugby to make a comeback; not a cut back. We are Stronger as Five.”
Originally published as Player power as RUPA fight for five