Western Force to appeal ARU fine - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Western Force to appeal ARU fine

By Tim Clarke 05/05/2006 07:16:44 PM Comments (0)

The Australian Rugby Union has shown its dissatisfaction with the Western Force's recruitment methods, fining them $110,000 for breaching contract protocols in trying to lure NSW Waratahs lock Al Kanaar to Perth.

But in a move which will put Australia's newest Super 14 franchise at loggerheads with the country's rugby ruling body, Force bosses immediately said they would appeal against the finding, and the level of fine.

After a hearing on Monday, called after the NSW rugby union lodged an official complaint last month, the independent committee found Rugby WA guilty of a breach of contract protocols.

An ARU statement said the committee, chaired by Bruce Hodgkinson SC, had found Rugby WA's methods had breached existing ARU contract protocols.

"The independent committee found that Rugby WA had entered a negotiation process with Kanaar in a way that was contrary to and in breach of the contracting protocols," the ARU said.

Rugby WA chairman Geoff Stooke said the union was "very surprised" at the decision, had notified the ARU they would be appealing, and had sought legal advice.

"If there was a breach it was a technical breach at worst," Stooke told AAP.

"It comes down to what the ARU deem to be negotiations, because really he came over here to have a look at the west; it was a holiday."

The ARU was asked to investigate Force's dealings with Kanaar after he was spotted by an NSWRU official in the background of a television sports bulletin from Perth.

At the time, NSW believed it had already signed up their second-rower for several more years, and were waiting on the ARU to finalise the deal, prompting a formal complaint.

However, the Force maintained they never made Kanaar a offer, and had approached the ARU in March for permission to speak to him.

Force CEO Peter O'Meara said the club were initially refused, but were then approached by his agent Greg Keenan a month later to ask if they were still interested.

Kanaar was said to have rejected the deal put to him, and had written to the ARU asking permission to receive an offer from the Force.

The fine comes after the furore caused by the multi-million dollar deal to sign Matt Giteau, with the Wallaby centre lured to Perth with corporate sweetener deals taking his salary to a reported $1.5 million a year.

A three-year deal with Queensland Reds back Drew Mitchell, who has been weighing up offers from the Force and the ACT Brumbies is expected to be announced over the weekend.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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