Wobbly Wallabies rate themselves higher than All Blacks
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: The Wallabies want access to up to AU$6.2 million worth of prize bonuses should they claim the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan later this year.
According to The Sun-Herald, players within the Australian set-up are proposing they be rewarded for winning a quarter-final and semi-final, with an additional bumper payment should they win their third world title.
It is understood the Rugby Union Players’ Association’s proposed per-player tournament win bonus would see them bag $200,000 each – totalling in $6.2m across the 31-man World Cup squad should they claim an unlikely victory in Japan.
That total is more than that of the back-to-back reigning champion All Blacks, whose players were handed a NZ$100,000 (AU$95,700) win bonus for claiming the 2011 and 2015 World Cup titles.
That total has now been increased to NZ$150,000 should the All Blacks claim an unprecedented third successive world crown.
Should they finish runners-up, New Zealand Rugby would pay out NZ$35,000 to all those within Steve Hansen’s squad.
The proposed prize pool for this tournament is significantly different from that of the Wallabies’ 2015 World Cup campaign, where RUPA agreed to a Rugby Australia proposal whereby their entire bonus relied on whether they won the title or not in London.
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If Australia had beaten the All Blacks at Twickenham four years ago, every player in their 31-man squad would have claimed AU$100,000 in win bonuses, but their ultimately unsuccessful campaign meant Michael Cheika’s men went home both trophy-less and without a big payday, aside from the standard AU$10,000 the players in their matchday 23 are paid per test.
This time round, however, the players appear to be looking for a much bigger increase in financial reward for their efforts in three months’ time.
A proposal put forward to Rugby Australia last week saw players request bonuses for making the semi-finals and final, totalling to AU$100,000, while a win in the final could see them pocket an extra AU$75,000 to AU$100,000.
Each player in the World Cup squad would be paid the tournament bonuses, while test match payments – varying between $10,000 for nationally contracted players and $12,000 for other players – would be pooled and evenly distributed to those in the matchday squads.
Overall, the total prize pool would increase by AU$1.5 million from the AU$4.7 million that was made available for the Wallabies in 2015.
Furthermore, it is an increase from the two World Cups before that, with AU$5.7 million being offered in 2007, and AU$4.9 million being tabled in 2011.
However, neither of those payments were paid out, as the Wallabies succumbed to quarterfinal and semifinal exits, meaning Rugby Australia haven’t had to pay a World Cup tournament bonus to their national men’s side since their run to the World Cup final in front of their home fans in 2003.
RUPA chairman Bruce Hodgkinson confirmed to The Sun-Herald the players had put their proposal to Rugby Australia but were yet to hear back.
It is thought that Rugby Australia is in favour of the win-or-nothing win bonus payment scheme from 2015.
“That’s being negotiated as we speak,” Hodgkinson said to The Sun-Herald.
“My understanding is that participation agreements are required [by World Rugby] by the beginning of July. Most of the teams have already negotiated and have bonus structures in place. At this stage, we don’t have a finalised agreement.”
Sources: RugbyPass & Sun-Herald