ARU delays Super Rugby decision

Updated: 

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has backed down from its initial timeline of 48-72 hours to decide which Super Rugby team will be axed.

Western Force or Melbourne Rebels are set to be cut by the ARU as Super Rugby moves to a 15-team competition from 2018.

It was initially said it would take just 48-72 hours for the ARU to make its decision, but the governing body has now distanced itself from that timeline.

"The ARU will undertake due process to ensure that both the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force are given adequate opportunity to present their business case before the board makes a final decision on which team to be removed," ARU chairman Cameron Clyne said in a statement.

"We maintain our commitment to reaching resolution on this matter as soon as possible, however the timeline that we initially anticipated of 48-72 hours will not apply.

"As confirmed on Monday, we have commenced a consultation process with both teams and will provide an update at an appropriate time."

Along with either Force or Rebels, two South African teams will be cut from Super Rugby ahead of the 2018 campaign.