ARU confirms plan to cut Force in Super Rugby revamp

SYDNEY (AP) — The Australian Rugby Union has confirmed it plans to cut the Western Force as part of its commitment to a revamped Super Rugby competition for 2018.

The ARU agreed to cut one of its five franchises during a meeting of Super Rugby stakeholders in April, when it was decided to reduce the competition from 18 clubs to 15 for next season.

The South African Rugby Union cut two teams and negotiated for them to compete in a European competition next season.

The decision in Australia lingered for months amid threats of legal action, despite the ARU pinpointing the Melbourne-based Rebels or the Perth-based Force as the likely teams to be dropped.

In a statement Friday, the ARU says it "today resolved to discontinue the Western Force Super Rugby license."