Rugby Union Players' Association (RUPA) Chief Executive Officer Ross Xenos has this morning voiced the players' disappointment that the NSW Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of RugbyWA.
RugbyWA took the ARU to the Supreme Court of NSW, appealing an arbitrator's decision which ruled that an Alliance Agreement between the parties gave the ARU the legal right to remove the Western Force from the Super Rugby competition at the end of this year.
"Today's ruling is an enormous setback for Rugby in Western Australia and in RugbyWA's legitimate and understandable fight to retain the Western Force's place in Super Rugby," Xenos said. "It is incredibly unfortunate that the future of professional Rugby in Western Australia is being dictated by the precised wording of an Alliance Agreement signed with the intention of strengthening and continuing the Western Force, not facilitating their premature ejection from Super Rugby.
"Australia's Rugby players remain united in their belief that not only can Australia sustain five professional teams from both a commercial and high performance perspective, but that it is in fact imperative that we do so in order to reverse the significant decrease in relevance Rugby is suffering from within a crowded sporting landscape.
"As it has been throughout the entirety of this drawn-out attempt by the ARU to discontinue the Force, RUPA's principle priority is and will continue to be ensuring that the rights and wellbeing of all Western Force players are protected and supported.
"It is our understanding that RugbyWA and the Western Australian Government are continuing to explore the legal options at their disposal, including a potential High Court appeal as proposed by Mr. Andrew Forrest this morning."