Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest talks to Western Force players
Fortescue Metals Group chairman Andrew Forrest talks to Western Force players RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

Force loses Supreme Court Super Rugby bid

AUSTRALIA will have four franchises compete in the 2018 Super Rugby season after the Western Force's appeal was dismissed by the New South Wales Supreme Court judge David Hammerschlag.

The ARU axed the Force from the Super Rugby competition last month after winning their arbitration case against RugbyWA.

RugbyWA had argued the ARU had no power to axe the Force because the governing body signed an "alliance" deal guaranteeing the franchise's future until the end of the broadcast deal in 2020.

 

Matt Hodgson leads the Force from the field this season.
Matt Hodgson leads the Force from the field this season. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

But the ARU successfully argued in arbitration that the deal no longer stood because the TV rights have since been renegotiated to accommodate for a reduced 15-team competition.

RugbyWA, backed by billionaire Andrew Forrest, sent the issue to the NSW Supreme Court.

And after 12 days of mulling over the decision, judge Hammerschlag dismissed RugbyWA's appeal.

News Corp Australia

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