Western Force extends with jersey sponsor

Australian Super Rugby franchise Western Force has renewed its shirt sponsorship deal with iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group.

The new two-year deal will run until 2019. Under the agreement, Fortescue’s branding will continue to feature on the back of star player Matt Hodgson’s jersey.

Fortescue has sponsored Hodgson’s (pictured) shirt since 2014.

The renewal comes with the Force’s Super Rugby future unclear. Last month, News Ltd newspapers in Australia reported that all partners of Sanzaar, the umbrella body for the national unions in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, had agreed in principle to a more streamlined 15-team competition from 2018 in a move that will see Australia lose one club and South Africa two franchises. The Force was named as the team that would be cut from Australia.

The Perth-based team strongly denied the reports, issuing a statement that read: “Under no circumstances do we believe speculation around the future of the Road Safety Western Force to be true.”