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Families unsettled by SANZAAR uncertainty

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/03/2017 Justin Chadwick

Western Force coach Dave Wessels says the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of the franchise is hindering his chances of recruiting star players for next year.

The Force is no certainty to survive beyond this season as SANZAAR weighs up the future make-up of the Super Rugby competition.

If the ARU agrees to axe one of its five Australian franchises, then either the Force, Rebels, or Brumbies will be chopped.

There's also talk the Brumbies and Rebels might merge, with the Force to stay as is.

No definitive time line has been set on a decision, leaving the three franchises in limbo.

Force winger Luke Morahan has already announced he'll be leaving for Bristol at the end of the season, and others could also exit out of fear there may not be a future at the Perth-based franchise.

Wessels is urging SANZAAR to make a swift decision, saying the uncertainty is having a ripple effect.

"We have the opportunity to bring some exciting people in to replace Luke. But the frustrating thing is we haven't been able to finalise those things because of the uncertainty with SANZAAR."

Wessels said players and coaches weren't the only ones feeling the heat.

"In behind this are people with families," Wessels said.

"That's everyone who works in our organisation, as well as the Rebels and Brumbies. And for that matter the Cheetahs and Kings."

Force veteran Matt Hodgson says the ongoing uncertainty is frustrating and annoying.

"Three of the five (Australian) teams can't really sign anyone that's not in the Wallaby mix," Hodgson said.

"We have just been sitting in limbo. We think five teams are needed in Australian rugby."

The Force have put in some solid efforts on the field this season, but their progress will be put to the test in Friday night's clash with the Crusaders in Christchurch.

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