Andrew Forrest speaks to the media during a rally at the Force HQ in Perth.
Andrew Forrest speaks to the media during a rally at the Force HQ in Perth. TONY MCDONOUGH

Force could start Asian rugby competition if appeal fails

THE Western Force may look at launching a new rugby union competition in Asia if it remains on the outer with Super Rugby.

The Force was last month axed by the ARU, leading Rugby WA to appeal the decision to the NSW Supreme Court.

The franchise should hear an outcome on Wednesday.

While two South African teams - the Cheetahs and Kings - were also cut from Super Rugby, they will join join Europe's Pro14 competition.

Force billionaire backer Andrew Forrest said at a rally on Sunday he would start his own international league if the Supreme Court appeal failed.

Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry added: "This is a really exciting concept and picks up on some interesting rugby we're seeing in Asia.

"It's an embryonic idea, but one worth exploring.


Mark Sinderberry, CEO of The Force during a press conference following the Round 7 Super Rugby match between the Western Force and the Southern Kings at NIB Stadium in Perth, Sunday, April 9, 2017. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Western Force CEO Mark Sinderberry. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

"There's a number of cities and countries in Asia that do play rugby at the moment and are looking at ways to develop their own programs. So we think it would be very well received."

Sinderberry stressed his top priority was the Force remaining in Super Rugby - not only for his club but also for Australian rugby.

"Shrinking to success is not a very well tried strategy," Sinderberry said.

"Unless the Force are at the table, we can't be part of the solution.

"We want to develop a future that actually solves the wider challenges the game is facing. And as we saw on the weekend (in the Wallabies' heavy loss to NZ), there are many."