The three five-team conferences will be New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, with Japan's Sunwolves to join the Australian conference and Argentina's Jaguares to play in the South Africa conference.
"At the request of the board, ARU management completed an exhaustive analysis on the Brumbies, Western Force and Melbourne Rebels", he said.
Force and Melbourne Rebels will learn within three days which of them gets the chop as part of part of a broader restructure of an unwieldy and unpopular Super Rugby competition format which is to be slashed from 18 teams to 15 after this season, with two South African sides also to go.
The sadness here is that Sanzaar have left it to the relevant unions - in this case South Africa and Australia - to make the hard call and we all expect the Cheetahs and Southern Kings to now exit stage left, followed by the Western Force.
"Australia's professional Rugby players are incredibly frustrated and deeply disappointed by today's confirmation that the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has voted to axe an Australian team from Super Rugby in 2018 and beyond", Xenos said.
Argentinian side the Jaguares will move to the South African conference, with Japanese team the Sunwolves to move into the Australian group.
Getting to the other point of the reduction and on performance value alone, an extra team should rather be culled from Australia instead, especially seeing that in the current 2017 fold, the Brumbies are the only performing Aussie side of a really poor bunch.
They will play eight cross-conference matches against four of the five teams from each of the other two (New Zealand and South Africa) conferences (four at home and four away).
New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew welcomed the changes.
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The Australian Rugby Union hasn't given up hope of one day building a provincial trans-Tasman rugby competition despite being firmly knocked back amid the recent Super Rugby negotiations.
"Look, it's tragic to think of one team being dropped, but long-term this is in the best interests of Australian rugby".
Introduced into Super Rugby back in 2006, the Force have never made the finals, coming closest in 2007 by coming seventh on the ladder.
"This assessment highlighted a need to adjust and strengthen Super Rugby in the short-term to ensure a robust and sustainable tournament meets the requirements of all stakeholders in terms of high performance pathways, game development, commercial revenue and fan engagement".
Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby said: "Fans, media and broadcasters have spoken and we have listened to them".
"This decision has not been an easy one and we recognise the difficulty associated with reducing the number of teams in Australia and South Africa".
The reversion to 15 teams, a year after the tournament was expanded from 15 to 18 teams, means the Super Rugby will be played in four five-team conferences next season. That immediately injects an integrity that the 18-team competition has lacked.
The news was announced on Sunday following the fixture between the Force and Kings in Perth, with both sides among those expected to be cut ahead of 2018.