Cape Town - Reports in Australia suggest that the Melbourne Rebels' future in Super Rugby is far from certain due to an alleged buyout by the Australian Rugby Union.
The ARU have moved to buy back the Rebels from owner Andrew Cox, who purchased the side from the ARU back in 2015. Should that offer go through then there is every chance the ARU would move to close the Rebels down.
Both the local Victorian government, home of the Rebels, and West Australian government, home of the Force, are vying to keep a Super Rugby team in their respective states.
According to The Australian, the West Australian government have proposed to back the Force to the tune of A$2m.
One of the five Australian franchises are due to be axed come the end of the Super Rugby season, as SANZAAR bids to reduce the competition from 18 teams to 15.
On the field the Rebels are going through a torrid season, having one just nine of the matches with their latest defeat being Saturday's 47-10 defeat to the Lions at AAMI Park.