Perth’s Super Rugby franchise the Western Force have hit back at the Australian Rugby Union by winning at injunction against the ARU’s decision to cut them from Super Rugby.
The Force have taken the next step in their legal fight to maintain their Super Rugby status by lodging an appeal request in the New South Wales Supreme Court.
The move comes after the Australian rugby announced last week that they were removing the Force’s Super Rugby licence from next season.
The Force say that they have an agreement with the ARU that they will remain in Super Rugby until the next broadcast deal.
The Force’s injunction means that the ARU cannot remove or relocate any of the Force’s players until the issue is resolved. The Force expect to hear on August 21 if they will be able to appeal.
According to reports the central issue around the Force’s case – which is being backed by billionaire Andrew Forrest – is whether the ARU have the right to cut the Force’s licence under the ‘alliance’ deal the two parties formed last year.
In that agreement the ARU bought the Force’s Super Rugby licence but guaranteed their future in Super Rugby until the end of the broadcast deal in 2020.
The ARU have argued that the broadcast deal has been changed with the cut from 18 to 15 teams so they can exe the Force.
Since the ARU announce the decision to cut the Force on Friday their chief executive Bill Pulver announced his resignation and ARU director Geoff Stooke, who is from Western Australia, stepped down in protest.