Super Rugby

Rebels face up to eight-week wait on Super Rugby axe

Tony McGahan (Getty)
Tony McGahan (Getty)

Melbourne - The Melbourne Rebels may have to wait up to eight weeks before learning whether they will be axed from a revamped Super Rugby competition next season, coach Tony McGahan said on Friday.

Last month the Australian Rugby Union announced plans to cut either the Rebels or the Perth-based Western Force from the 2018 southern hemisphere tournament.

But McGahan said he was advised not to expect an imminent resolution on which team would be nixed, with the painful drawn-out process casting a pall of uncertainty over Australian rugby.

"We've been told it could be another six to eight weeks before a decision is made," McGahan told reporters.

"So, as you can imagine, that puts a lot of unnecessary stress on everyone in the organisation.

"It's probably in the last couple of weeks where we can really feel it as it starts to affect people's livelihoods and where they want to be, with certain (contractual) windows closing both here and also overseas."

The Rebels have said the national governing body had no right to "cut or chop" them from Super Rugby.

The team has signalled its intention to seek compensation from the ARU for the damage caused by its "unnecessary public statements and action" in the handling of the process.

While no players had sought him out, McGahan said he had heard of some Rebels and staff exploring other options.

"We all can relate," he said. "They might not all have wives or kids but with job security, what's on next, what other options are out there, they affect every single person."

RugbyWA has also launched legal action against the ARU in a bid to keep the Force afloat.

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