The Western Force are reportedly set to be included in Rugby Australia’s plans for an adapted five-team version of Vodacom Super Rugby.
The Perth-based Force were controversially axed from Super Rugby after being considered surplus to requirements in 2017. Since then, the franchise has been involved in the Global Rapid Rugby and National Rugby Championship tournaments.
However, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Force will rejoin an adapted domestic version of Super Rugby, which could be running by 4 July at the earliest. The tournament would include the Reds, Brumbies, Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels. South Africans currently plying their trade at the Force include former Sharks flank Brynard Stander and former Western Province prop Chris Heiberg, while USA centre Marcel Brache is also contracted to the franchise.
Rugby Australia will give its Super Rugby clubs a briefing on Covid-19 measures this week as players are set to return to training on 18 May, giving them a conditioning period of seven weeks.
This follows New Zealand Rugby’s confirmation that its own domestic tournament will get under way on 13 June. The competition – known as Super Rugby Aotearoa – will feature the five Kiwi Super Rugby clubs playing each other home and away over 10 weeks behind closed doors.
The Herald also reports that Rugby Australia could hold a televised American football-type ‘combine’ event with their Super Rugby teams to generate interest in the tournament. The event would have the country’s top rugby players compete in a series of events including shuttle runs, sprints and a kicking challenge.
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