Australian players are threatening to go on a strike that could derail the Super Rugby AU competition just days before it’s due to kick off.
Australia’s professional rugby players have rejected a new wage cut proposal by Rugby Australia, and have suggested sitting out the domestic competition to start on 3 July if they’re not paid more.
This comes after the cash-strapped Rugby Australia approached the players’ union (Rupa) with a proposal for players to finish the year with a 40% pay cut, an offer they rejected.
A report in the Daily Telegraph stated that players had been hoping to agree a 20% cut for the remainder of the season, but would accept a 30% reduction if a deal could be struck quickly.
A player boycott would jeopardise the restart of Australia’s newly formed competition and therefore further endanger the difficult financial position RA finds itself in.
‘We are in ongoing dialogue with Rupa regarding a revised pay deal and are working in good faith to reach an agreement as soon as possible with Vodafone Super Rugby AU set to kick off in just over a week,’ an RA spokesman was quoted in the Daily Telegraph.
Earlier this month, RA axed 77 jobs – 47 of those full time – while some workers will soon return to work on 95% pay, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The competition’s future from 2021 onwards has not yet been decided, meaning there is no guarantee players will be paid in full next season.
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