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Western Force back for Australian Super Rugby competition

Rugby Australia confirmed on Wednesday that the side - controversially axed three years ago from the southern hemisphere's top club tournament - would play in the competition.

Picture: Supplied.

SYDNEY - Perth-based Western Force will get another crack at top-flight Australian rugby, after being asked to join a COVID-enforced domestic Super Rugby tournament.

Rugby Australia confirmed on Wednesday that the side - controversially axed three years ago from the southern hemisphere's top club tournament - would play in the competition.

"The return of the Western Force in an Australian-based competition is a great story," said Rugby Australia's incoming chairman Hamish McLennan.

He admitted that ditching the side in 2017 was "painful for sports fans in Western Australia and the Force players".

"We are sorry that they haven't been able to share in the rivalry against their fellow Australian teams."

It is still not clear if Japan's Sunwolves will join the Australia-based, five-club tournament that is set to run from July to September.

"Our Australian derby clashes are always up there with the most popular matches each season and it will be great to see those rivalries ignited again in a national competition," said McLennan.