Rebels get Super Rugby draw

Henry

The Melbourne Rebels’ Super Rugby status is a thing of the past due to the union’s outstanding debts amounting to millions of rands.

Rugby Australia (RA) on Thursday rejected a bid to save the debt-laden union.

In this way, the Rebels’ Super Rugby path comes to an end after 14 seasons.

The Rebels were placed under voluntary administration in January due to debts of almost 23 million Australian dollars (approximately R285 million).

RA stepped in to reclaim the union’s playing license and cover staff wages for the 2024 season, before a consortium led by former Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford presented a rescue plan.

However, the Aussies’ national rugby governing body undertook not to issue the playing license again and decided that the rescue plan did not show sufficient financial viability. There are also doubts about the funding model.

RA added that he had already had to assist the Rebels financially from the outset.

“There is nothing in the consortium’s proposal that proves with sufficient certainty that this will change,” said the national rugby governing body.

The Rebels are currently seventh in the Super Rugby standings and their first play-off game in years is around the corner.

“This is undoubtedly a sad day for the Rebels,” the union said.

“The union will continue to work with RA and the players’ association on next steps for players and management.”

The Brumbies, Queensland Reds, Western Force and Waratahs are still part of the Super Rugby series.

Wallabies stars such as Carter Gordon, Taniela Tupou, Rob Leota, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Andrew Kellaway are in action for the Rebels.

The union would host a match against the British and Irish Lions in July 2025.

Clifford meanwhile described the development as a slap in the face to rugby fans in the state of Victoria and he threatened to sue RA.

He told the media that he had a plan to move the club to Melbourne’s western suburbs, with $18 million (about R222 million) in funding.

“The consortium presented to RA last week a detailed plan of $18 million, backed by local equity, to not only save the Rebels, but to allow them to thrive in a new home in Tarneit in Melbourne’s west,” he said. said.

“It was a credible, financially viable and sustainable plan.”