The Rebels have called for compensation from the Australian Rugby union over comments made by officials about the decision to dump an Aussie franchise.
Plans are afoot to reduce the number of teams competing in the Super Rugby tournament from 18 to 15. Two teams from South Africa and one from Australia, which the ARU has already said would be either the Rebels or Force, are set to be axed.
The Force have already launched legal action against the ARU about the decision. On Friday, the Rebels, issued a strongly worded statement calling for compensation from the ARU over comments made by officials and senior management about the decision to dump one of the Australian sides.
'We unequivocally reject that the ARU has any ability to chop or cut (ARU words) the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby licence,' the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union said in a statement.
'Any representation by the ARU, including its chairman, to that effect is legally incorrect and in complete conflict with the constitution of the ARU. The ARU's continued use of these terms and perpetuation of this myth continues to cause significant damage to MRRU and its players and staff.
'Patently through no fault of our own, MRRU has suffered significant damage (financial, reputational, commercial and personal) by the ARU's handling of this whole process and its unnecessary public statements and actions.
'Given these actions, MRRU has notified the ARU of its intention to seek compensation and at this time has reserved all rights.'
MRRU added it had been previously assured by the ARU that the team would not be in the Super Rugby firing line in the event of a tournament reduction.
'MRRU is disappointed that its staff, players, members, fans and partners have suffered anguish and emotional distress and immediately requests the ARU to put an end to this ongoing saga.'
Photo: Brad Kanaris/Getty Images