The Australian Rugby Union board has announced that the Force will be axed from Super Rugby next season.
The ARU has won its arbitration case against Rugby WA and said it would ‘discontinue the Western Force Super Rugby licence’.
ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said: ‘This has been a complex process to reduce Australia’s Super Rugby representation to four teams as agreed by Sanzaar following its review of the competition.
‘We are regretful that this issue has consumed so much of the public commentary on the game in 2017. It was clearly not our intention for this to play out over such a lengthy period, however, there have been factors outside the ARU’s control that have prevented us from completing the process.
‘Our decision to exit the Western Force has been guided primarily by financial outcomes.
‘As we have reinforced throughout this process, there are commercial realities, which are linked to declining on-field performance across our Super Rugby teams which has put Australian Rugby in a position where it can no longer sustain five teams.’
The Force still have the option of appealing the decision in the Supreme Court.
Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images
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