Australian club to be axed from Super Rugby competition

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-10 10:59:35|Editor: Mengjiao Liu
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SYDNEY, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Rugby Union have announced on Monday that either the Melbourne Rebels or the Western Force will be axed from the 2018 Super Rugby competition.

At a media conference in Sydney, Australian Rugby chairman Cameron Clyne confirmed that one of the two teams would have to go and that the final decision would be made in the next 72 hours.

"It became apparent that Australia could not sustain that number of teams," he said.

"The financial drain, coupled with the fact that each team is an independent entity, and make decisions accordingly, placed a significant strain on funding."

Lower average crowds, as well as a fall in participation at junior levels has sparked some fears the sport is declining.

But Clyne believes, cutting one of the teams should free up more resources to reenergize the code's supporter base.

"The additional funding provided by the Australian Rugby Union to offset Super Rugby losses has severely limited our capacity to invest further in our grassroots and high performance areas such as player and coach development," he said.

Adding to that, another problem the sport faced was the "exodus" of Australians playing in more lucrative European leagues.

In South Africa, two Super Rugby teams will also be cut, as the competition drops from 18 sides to 15.