New pay cut deal for Super players
NEWS: Australian rugby players will return on 70 percent of their original wage when Super Rugby AU kicks off on Friday after an agreement was reached on Wednesday.
Players from the Queensland Reds, Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels and Brumbies had been subjected to an average 60 percent cut after Super Rugby was put on hold almost four months ago.
Negotiations over the last week have landed on a 30 percent reduction of regular wage, match payments and bonuses to ensure the tournament goes ahead as planned.
It’s a win for players after their union rejected an initial 40 percent sacrifice and puts them in line with senior Rugby Australia staff and new Australian coach Dave Rennie, who are all operating on 70 percent of their original wage.
Talk of a competition boycott emerged when the 40 percent figure was first floated, however was quickly shot down by Rebels boss Baden Stephenson and the threat never reached boardroom level.
The revised agreement will remain for the next three months until the domestic competition’s September finals series is complete, at which point the structure will be renegotiated ahead of any Tests yet to be locked in.
“Australians all around the country are currently facing an incredibly difficult economic environment and rugby is certainly no different,” Rugby Australia chief executive Rob Clarke said.
“The professional players have acknowledged the important role they play in ensuring the future health of rugby in Australia and I thank them for their cooperation throughout this negotiation, to ensure the competition starts this coming Friday night.”
The Reds host the Waratahs on Friday in Brisbane before the Rebels play the Brumbies on Saturday.
Recalled to the competition after being axed from Super Rugby in 2017, Western Force are exempt from Rugby Australia’s pay agreement.