Professional rugby players will take an average 60 per cent salary cut but have called for a complete review of the code, after reaching a resolution on an interim pay deal on Monday.
The financial measures, reached after discussions started between Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players’ Association almost three weeks ago, have been secured for the next six months, or until competition can resume.
In a statement issued on Monday evening, RA said the agreement will result in Australia’s 192 professional rugby players taking an average 60 per cent cut through to September 30, unless competition resumes at an earlier date.
Should competition resume earlier, RA, the four Super Rugby teams, and RUPA will negotiate new terms.
7 News reported it would see Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, who has a five-year $6 million deal, will likely lost about two thirds of his salary in the next six months, effectively a $400,000 pay cut.
Hooper before the 2019 World Cup.Source:AAP
All players received their full monthly payment in April, with the salary reduction to be amortised over the next five months.
RA has yet to determine when a mooted replacement competition for the suspended Super Rugby tournament will start.
The body suspended domestic competition until May 1, with an imminent announcement expected about it being extended beyond that date.
RUPA said in a statement attention must now turn immediately to the long-term sustainability of the game and it believes in the need for transformation and root and branch reform of the code.
The minimum a player will earn is $1500 per fortnight from the Australian Government JobKeeper entitlement.
Up to six players have negotiated the opportunity to explore an opportunity for one period of six months, within the years 2021-23 in an overseas club competition.
This will be managed with the Super Rugby teams and players will not be paid by Rugby Australia or their Super Rugby team while playing offshore.
RA CEO Raelene Castle thanked the players for their willingness to work with her organisation to reach an interim solution that will help them protect the long- term future of rugby in Australia.
“This has not been an easy discussion, but it has been a necessary one to ensure that we are able to emerge from the other side of this crisis in the best possible position for the game to move forward,” Castle said. “It is important to note that these measures are a stopgap, not a full-stop.
Raelene Castle has been under fire in recent months.Source:Getty Images
“We are deep into our planning to ensure we are able to navigate our way through this and be ready for competition to resume as soon as that is possible.
“The players have been involved in this process and we look forward to continuing that work and seeing them back out on the field doing what they do best.”
RUPA and the member unions will be included in key discussions regarding rugby’s future structure, competition design and scheduling.
“Australia’s professional players will play a central role in the short-term preservation of the game by accepting a significant reduction in pay in order for necessary transformation to begin,” RUPA CEO and former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison said in a separate statement.
“Immediate attention must now turn to the long-term sustainability of the game and this agreement allows the players to make a significant contribution to that.
“RUPA will work closely with the member unions to achieve this. “RUPA believes in the need for transformation. This process has enabled a greater understanding of the need for root and branch reform of the game.”
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