ARU summons Force over financial scandal




The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has summoned West Australian (WA) rugby bosses to a meeting to answer questions surrounding their player contracting protocols.

It follows newspaper reports that Super 14 club Western Force made secret payments of more than $300,000 ($247,500) during 2006 to players in direct contravention of ARU protocols.

ARU chief executive John O’Neill said in a statement on Friday the sport’s national governing body will meet with Rugby WA chairman Geoff Stooke and chief executive Peter O’Meara “to put to them the ARU’s significant concerns”.

“Subject to the outcome of that meeting, the ARU will consider referring the matter to an Independent Judicial Committee,” O’Neill told AAP.

“The integrity of the contracting protocols is paramount.”

A date for the meeting hasn’t been finalised.

Reports have stated that money was hidden in Force’s annual accounts and did not appear as “player payments” even though it was paid to three Australia players on Force’s books.

The club and officials have denied making the payments with O’Meara saying the Perth-based franchise had clean hands on the way they lured high-profile players to Force.


365 Digital

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