The struggling Western Force will be allowed an additional foreign player next season to help them become more competitive in the Super 15 rugby competition.
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) announced t decision on Friday following a request from the Perth-based franchise to revise its Foreign Player Contracting Rule.
Prior to the change, the Force, along with rival Australian teams ACT Brumbies, Queensland Reds and New South Wales Waratahs, were allowed to recruit two developing foreign players, or one marquee and one developing foreign player.
The Melbourne Rebels, finishing their second season, are the only exception to the foreign player concession and are allowed to recruit a maximum of 10 foreign players.
Western Force have struggled this season and have won just three of their 15 games, while losing key players to rival teams.
"We have worked closely with the Force and carefully considered their request to be granted the ability to recruit an additional developing foreign player in 2013," said David Nucifora, general manager of the ARU's High Performance Unit.
"The outcome of this process is that we believe the best way to support the Force moving forward is to provide this concession."
The ARU also indicated that the Rebels will be provided with the same foreign player concessions as the Force in 2016 when their current concessions fall back in line with the other Australian franchises.
Currently the Rebels can recruit up to 10 foreign players, but that will be reduced to six in 2014 and four in 2015 before aligning with the other Australian franchises.