Western Force coach Tim Sampson says his team needs to beat the Rebels for the fans in Western Australia who still feel the pain of the Perth side’s axing from Super Rugby three years ago.
The Force play the Rebels today at 11.05am for the first time since the 2017 Super Rugby season, which was overshadowed by Rugby Australia’s plan to cut one of the teams to save costs.
Despite joining the southern hemisphere competition in 2006, five years ahead of the Rebels, the Force were cut at the end of the 2017 campaign,
triggering protests from angry fans.
The Rebels survived and padded out their roster with most of the Force’s best players but still failed to make the playoffs in 2018-19.
And Sampson says: “What the fans and members went through, they have every right to feel this way and, I think internally, for our fans, we’ve got to get a win.”