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Rugby Australia And Players Agree Updated Pay Deal, Ten Wants Broadcast Discount

R
ugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) have announced an updated interim pay deal through to December 31, 2020.

The deal will see Australian Super Rugby players guaranteed a flat 70% of their contracted remuneration, eligible match payments, and bonuses until the end of December, with the Wallabies squad set to receive their full contracted remuneration.

Rugby Australia interim chief executive, Rob Clarke, said the negotiations have helped to secure the future of rugby in Australia.

“I want to thank Justin Harrison and his team at RUPA for their collaborative approach during these negotiations,” Clarke said.

“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 Vodafone 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,” he said.

RUPA 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 [to] 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,” he said.

The deal continues on from the same pay scale as prior to the Super Rugby AU competition, which saw all Australian Super Rugby players receive 70% pay.

Current free-to-air television broadcast of Wallabies Tests, Network Ten, are reportedly the only network that has shown interest in signing a new deal for the Wallabies Test matches next year.

Ten currently pays a reported fee of $3.5 million each year to Rugby Australia but has said it wants a $1 million annual reduction to its broadcast fee, down to $2.5 million each year.

This comes after a week of turmoil for Rugby Australia, who lost its naming rights partner, Qantas, after the airline decided to stop investment into its sport sponsorship portfolio due to COVID-19.

This move left Rugby Australia without an official Principal/Naming Rights Sponsor, and while initial reports suggested Rugby Australia sponsor, Fortescue Metals Group would look to take the opening sponsorship slot, that has been denied by the company.