Cape Town – There has been a strong outpouring of emotions from former players of the Force after the club’s appeal to save their Super Rugby future was dismissed by the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Retiring captain Matt Hodgson wept when he addressed the media once the decision had been made while former Western Force star Cameron Shepherd says he is embarrassed to be a Wallaby.
Shepherd played 60 times for the Force and is still their all-time leading point-scorer. He believes that a huge disconnect between fans of rugby and the people who are in charge of it exists.
“The ARU will regret it,” the nine-Test Wallaby told Fox Sports.
“It’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed to be a Wallaby at this point in time by the way we’re being governed.
“Embarrassed to part of a big organisation that is now treating the game that I love the way they do.”
Meanwhile, former Force and Wallaby lock Nathan Sharpe described the situation as a “horrible day for rugby union in Australia”.
“How did we possibly end up here & get this so bloody wrong,” he said on Twitter.
“Finding it very hard to respect anything the (ARU) stands for,” former Force speedster Scott Staniforth tweeted.
Wallabies prop Pek Cowan said the decision was “bullshit”.
The Rugby Union Players Association have said they still believe Australia could sustain five professional rugby teams while West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has promised to keep fighting for the Force.
“Disappointing for the State. WA has invested both emotionally and financially in our (Western Force). We won’t stop the fight here, (ARU),” Cowan tweeted.
What a horrible day for Rugby Union in Australia. How did we possibly end up here & get this so bloody wrong.
— Nathan Sharpe (@NathanSharpe5) September 5, 2017