Good news for Wallabies ahead of Rugby Champs
NEWS: The Wallabies marked their first day in isolation in New Zealand with news that they would return to full pay for the rest of the year according to an agreement between Rugby Australia (RA) and the Rugby Players Union Association (RUPA).
Dave Rennie’s team arrived in New Zealand on Friday and were immediately placed in isolation for 14 days ahead of their Bledisloe Cup tests with the All Blacks next month.
RA was forced to enact pay cuts earlier this year due to financial uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, with players accepting a 60 percent pay cut in April.
They had their salaries reinstated to 70 percent in July and would return to 100 percent on October 1 ahead of their international programme, which also includes the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship.
Super Rugby players’ salaries would remain at 70 percent, RA and RUPA said in a joint statement on Saturday.
“We are obviously not alone in the financial challenges that we are facing but our playing group have stood up and acknowledged their role to play in securing the game’s future in Australia,” RA interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke said.
“We are now all extremely excited about the upcoming test season.”
RA needed to secure a A$14.2 million ($9.98 million) lifeline in funding from World Rugby earlier this year as the initial financial pressure from the coronavirus outbreak bit.
It also is yet to secure a new broadcasting agreement while long-standing sponsor Qantas said they would walk away at the end of the year as part of a wider review of their sporting sponsorships.
The Wallabies play the All Blacks in Wellington on October 11 and Auckland on October 18 before both teams head back across the Tasman Sea for the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship that also involves world champions South Africa and Argentina
*Read the full statement below…
Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) have today agreed to an updated interim pay deal through to December 31, 2020.
The agreed deal ensures Australian Super Rugby players maintain a flat 70% of their contracted remuneration, eligible match payments and bonuses until the end of December while the Wallabies playing squad are now back to their full contracted remuneration.
Rugby Australia interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke said: “I want to thank Justin Harrison and his team at RUPA for their collaborative approach during these negotiations. We are obviously not alone in the financial challenges that we are facing but our playing group have stood up and acknowledged their role to play in securing the game’s future in Australia.
“The players put on a terrific show during Super Rugby AU. It was a great season and it wouldn’t have been possible without the numerous sacrifices made by each of our five teams and their playing squads.
“We are now all extremely excited about the upcoming Test season. The Wallabies squad trained exceptionally hard before their departure to New Zealand to ensure they were in the best possible condition ahead of two Tests next month.
“There have been countless success stories in the community game too. We’re entering Finals time for a lot of Premier Rugby competitions around the country – and that is thanks to each of the Member Unions as well as the army of volunteers, that truly are the lifeblood of the game in this country,” Clarke said.
Rugby Union Players’ Association Chief Executive Justin Harrison said: “Australia’s professional rugby players recognise the current state of the game and requirement to make these commitments for Rugby in Australia.
“RUPA would like thank Rugby Australia for the honest and forthright approach, that was founded on the principles of transparency and participation, in solving for a common problem.
“RUPA also wants to acknowledge the partnership approach that was adopted, and in particular to Rob Clarke, Adam Foulsham and Hamish McLennan for their co-operation in navigating Rugby through this perilous period for Australian professional sport,” Harrison said.