The Australian Rugby Union has agreed to an emergency meeting to discuss the axing of one of its Super Rugby franchises.
This followed a joint request from the Rugby Union Players' Association (Rupa) and the Victorian Rugby Union.
Sanzaar announced last month that Super Rugby would be reduced from 18 teams to 15 from 2018, with two from South Africa and one from Australia dropping out.
The Force and Rebels are in the firing line Down Under, with the former having already taken legal action and the latter set to seek financial compensation from the ARU if they are scrapped.
The ARU will hold the emergency meeting within the next seven days.
'The ARU's intent to axe an Australian Super Rugby team has lacked transparency and consultation with key stakeholders,' said players' association chief Ross Zenos. 'The ongoing uncertainty and secrecy of this process continues to do unprecedented damage to the reputation of the game and has placed unacceptable distress on players and their families.'
Players on the Rupa board include Wallabies Stephen Moore, Bernard Foley, James Slipper and Scott Sio.
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