Australian Rugby says it knows of Melbourne Rebels sale

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Seta Tamanivalu with the ball pushes Sefa Naivalu , during Rebels v Crusaders, Round 14 of the 2017 Super Rugby season, AAMI Park.

Seta Tamanivalu with the ball pushes Sefa Naivalu , during Rebels v Crusaders, Round 14 of the 2017 Super Rugby season, AAMI Park. (Photo: Brendon Ratnayake / www.photosport.nz)

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian Rugby says it has confirmed the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise has been sold but has not been officially informed of the sale.

In a statement late Friday, the ARU said it had learned from a third party that the Rebels have been sold by New Zealand-born businessman Andrew Cox to the Victorian Rugby Union. It said the Rebels are in breach of their Super Rugby participation deed which requires them to notify a change of ownership.

The ARU said it has received no formal notification "despite recent attempts to confirm their position. ARU is urgently seeking to confirm the terms on which this transfer occurred."

The Rebels' future in Super Rugby is in doubt as Australia has to cut one of its five teams from next year's tournament.

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