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ARU's 'informal' meeting won't go ahead

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/05/2017 Vince Rugari

The Australian Rugby Union's proposed 'informal' meeting to outline plans to cut a Super Rugby team won't happen.

And it paves the way for a possible board challenge in the middle of the June Test window.

The governing body was willing to meet with anxious players and state unions this week to shed light on how it intends to shut down either the Western Force or Melbourne Rebels, amid a drawn-out process and legal battles involving both franchises.

It's understood that meeting will not go ahead, largely because of scheduling issues.

That means a special general meeting (SGM) of the ARU, which was triggered last Wednesday by the Victorian Rugby Union and Rugby Union Players' Association, will proceed next month.

The ARU is working on a date to be announced in the coming days, but it is legally required to give members at least 21 days notice before any general meeting.

If called this week, the SGM would likely be held in the lead-up to Australia's second Test against Scotland in Sydney.

While RUPA did not call for the meeting with the intention of challenging the ARU's leadership - simply seeking more details on what is happening behind the scenes - there could be a push for a board spill or a vote of no confidence if other voting members are not satisfied with what they hear.

The ARU announced on April 10 that the Force or Rebels would be removed from Super Rugby, in line with a shift to a 15-team competition, and chairman Cameron Clyne promised a decision would be made within days.

However, nearly two months later the issue has continued to drag on with no resolution in sight, raining concerns over the mental health of players and staff at the affected teams.

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