New Super rugby format 'unfair' on NZ teams

The new Super rugby format is unfair on New Zealand teams, All Blacks prop Charlie Faumuina says.

Under the new 15 team format, which comes into effect from next year, New Zealand teams will play each other twice - home and away.

However, the change won't affect Faumuina as he's off to French club Toulouse at the end of the season.

The New Zealand derbies have been notoriously tough on players, with former Blues coach Sir John Kirwan saying they are the closest thing to a test match, but Faumuina says there's nothing they can do now.

He says there will now be eight really touch games a year.

"And you get those Aussie teams that have maybe one or two... but it is what it is and they've set the rules now and we can't do anything about it," he said.

Meanwhile Rugby Western Australia has begun legal action against the Australian Rugby Union as the axe hovers over the embattled Western Force Super franchise.

After what it described as an "unsatisfactory meeting" with the ARU yesterday, the RugbyWA board issued a statement saying the peak body had "failed to address the responsibilities that exist in the Alliance Agreement between RugbyWA and the ARU".

"We felt in order to protect our position it was necessary to issue legal proceedings to protect our rights under the Alliance Agreement," the statement explained.

The RugbyWA board said that the terms of the assessment and process being used to evaluate the Force and the Rebels were "inconsistent and inequitable".

Super Rugby's governing body SANZAAR had handed down an edict on Sunday that one Australian and two South African teams would be cut from the competition for 2018.

It was up to the ARU to determine which Australian franchise would go - the Force and Melbourne Rebels the two in the firing line.

The ARU said earlier on Monday that a final decision on which team would be cut was to be made in the next two-to-three days but RugbyWA inferred it would take some time more than that.


Photo: PHOTOSPORT Local derbies, like the Blues against the Chiefs, are akin to test matches.