ARU clarifiies Super Rugby position; no decision made on axing teams
"As announced by SANZAAR following the SANZAAR Board meeting in London earlier this month, the four member nations have undertaken a period of stakeholder consultation to work towards an agreed outcome on the competition format for the 2018 season," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said.
"This stakeholder consultation, which has included consultation with broadcast partners in each territory, is ongoing. At this point, there has been no determination on the future competition format or the teams involved in the competition.
"We also wish to confirm for the public record that no decision has been taken on the removal of one of Australia's Super Rugby teams.
"ARU, as a joint venture partner of SANZAAR, is working towards a final resolution in the shortest timeframe possible and will inform Rugby fans as soon as an outcome is reached."
The Force had earlier responded to the report themselves with chief executive Mark Sindeberry saying: "Under no circumstances do we believe today's speculation around the future of the Road Safety Western Force to be true.
"Two and half weeks ago, through a national phone link-up all clubs were told that the ARU, through the governing body SANZAAR, was investigating a number of issues and those issues had to be resolved prior to a decision being made to reduce any of the Australian franchises.
"There has been no further contact from the Australian Rugby Union to any of the Western Force players or staff, so at this time there is no further comment on the matter until substantiated facts are put forward."