Rebels confirm transfer of Super Rugby licence


rebelsThe Melbourne Rebels have confirmed the transfer of their Super Rugby licence from the club’s private owners into the hands of the Victorian Rugby Union, ensuring their future in the competition.

The Rebels and Western Force have been on the Australian Rugby Union’s chopping block after a SANZAAR agreement in April to cut an Australian team in a downsized Super Rugby competition from 2018.

Andrew Cox’s Imperium Sports Group transferred the licence and all shares in the club to the VRU for $1 on Friday, in a move which stops the ARU from buying back the Rebels and shutting them down.

The Victorian Government is expected to this week announce its involvement in the deal, which includes hosting Bledisloe Cups in return for Rebels funding.

That means the ARU will be hanging on the outcome of an arbitration case with WA Rugby, with a decision expected this week, in order to fulfil its SANZAAR deal.

Meanwhile, BILLIONAIRE mining magnate Andrew Forrest has issued a blunt warning to the ARU: if you want to cut the Force, you are going to have to defeat me first.

The findings from last week’s arbitration hearing between RugbyWA and the ARU is set to be handed down within days.

If the Force win, they will survive the axe until at least 2020.

But if they lose, the ARU is set to cull them from the Super Rugby competition.

Under that scenario, the Force are almost certain to appeal to the Supreme Court if they win a right of appeal.

Forrest has pledged to do whatever it takes to save the Force, and he let the ARU know he means business.