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SBD Global/August 15, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

RugbyWA Wins Injunction To Save Super Rugby Side Western Force

The Western Force "has made good on threats to fight its axing from the Super Rugby competition," according to Tom Wildie of the ABC. Western Australia's rugby governing body, RugbyWA, lodged the appeal to the NSW Supreme Court on Monday. A hearing has reportedly been set for Aug. 23. RugbyWA "also obtained an injunction" restraining the Australian Rugby Union from "taking any action on the decision to axe the club, pending the hearing of the appeal" (ABC, 8/13). In Sydney, Tom Decent reported RugbyWA "expects to know within a week whether an appeal will be granted." Western Force CEO Mark Sinderberry said, "We've been given every encouragement by our legal team that it's certainly possible. We have a commitment to the game here in Western Australia to exhaust every possibility" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/14). REUTERS' Ian Ransom reported billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who has publicly backed the Force and warned the ARU he would be "first in line to fight any decision to axe the side," was named in the court order. Forrest reportedly said, "We won. It is one small, moral victory in the long battle to save this great team but it is a good one to have over those who have shown total ruthlessness towards the players and the proud rugby community that stands behind them." The ARU declined to comment. SANZAAR was "proceeding under the assumption that the competition would have 15 teams next season," a spokesperson said, adding that the organization would release a statement on the tournament's structure on Monday or Tuesday (REUTERS, 8/13).
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