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Force players won’t be moved to Sydney

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Western Force captain Matt Hodgson says that the players in Perth are feeling a lot more reassured after a meeting with Australian Rugby Union Boss Bill Pulver.

The Australian Rugby Union are expected to announced that they will be stepping in to help the Perth based Super Rugby club financially in the very near future.

According to reports the current CEO Mark Sinderberry will be demoted to managing director and the club’s finances will be overseen by the ARU.

It is understood that the Force’s football program will remain in place but coach Michael Foley is under pressure for his position despute being under contract for next season.

There has been speculation that the ARU would drop the struggling Force and replace them with a second Super Rugby team in Western Sydney.

However Hodgson says that ARU boss Bill Pulver and RUPA CEO Ross Xenos visited the club in Perth and told the players that the ARU would not be making any such changes – until at least the next broadcast deal in 2021.

“They laid out the idea and what’s happening to all the players and the coaching staff. So we feel a lot more comfortable now, knowing what’s going on, and we know the ARU are backing WA and want Western Australia to stay in the competition,” Hodgson told the Daily Telegraph.

“That puts a lot of confidence in the boys and we know that we need to get better results on the park.”

“The boys just needed to know what was happening, but with Bill coming over last week and also Ross … to explain the situation, that helped.”

The Force have finished in the bottom four in four of the last five years and in the last 28 matches they have won just five matches. Hodgson says that the alliance with the ARU could see the national body fighting a few of their battles for them.

“The travel is a big thing for us. Getting a draw that suits our travel. This year we went to Japan via Sydney. We spend time in New Zealand but fly back and forth. It’s just getting a draw sorted out that’s fair,” Hodgson said.

“Also you see most games we are competitive for 60 minutes, but if we have injuries or the bench comes on, and we don’t have the same level. So it is a bit more depth (needed) in our squad, and that’s just talent equalisation across Australia. We have one Wallaby player on a top-up.

“Definitely with the ARU coming in and supporting us, it is going to help us.

“It is just good to be able to talk to them and explain what we go through every year.

“No-one really knows what uphill battles we have, unless you live it for a while.

“After talking to Bill, and having them in our camp and helping us out, they can see the issues we have and will definitely help in that area.

“But in saying that, we will always keep fighting. You see that in every game and every season we have. We will always fight hard.”

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