The Western Force Is Back in the Game

May 29, 2020 by

The Perth-based Australian professional Rugby Union team The Western Force will return to the Super Rugby arena in July. Andrew Forrest, the club’s owner, officially accepted the invitation from Rugby Australia this week.

The Force was removed from Super Rugby in 2017 after SANZAAR reviewed the format and decided to trim participating teams from 18 to 15. The Force was supposed to lead the breakaway Global Rapid Rugby Tournament for the 2020 season before the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic lockdown saw everything screeching to a halt.

Forrest commented on his team’s involvement in what looks like a five-team tournament, saying his decision was for the greater good. He said it was the right thing to do in terms of Rugby not just in Perth but in Australia as well and is a step towards getting the game flourishing once more.

He let it be known that his views on the shortcomings of the previous RA administration are unchanged but added that adaptation is necessary if top-flight Rugby is going to thrive in the long-term. He said he views his decision as a way to assist the RA as a whole and Hamish McLennan, the new Chair, in particular.

Forrest went on to advise RA to seize this chance to restructure and even reinvent every facet of the game as it currently stands. He said everything needs to be reviewed, including Rugby’s cost and competition structure, its governance, its rules, and its approach to partnerships with broadcasters. And he said that its ongoing commitment to fostering forward-movement at the grassroots level and engaging with fans must be prioritised.

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