Rugby Australia and the Australian Rugby Players’ Association (Rupa) have agreed an average 60% salary cut for the next six months.
The governing body confirmed the details of the interim deal on Monday after players agreed salary cuts weighted towards the top earners running until 30 September.
Should the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season restart before then, Rupa and Rugby Australia will again enter into negotiations over new wage deals.
All players will receive their full April wages, with the coming months’ payments to be adjusted to match the upcoming salary reductions.
Further, up to six senior players will be afforded the opportunity for a sabbatical between 2021 and 2023. This group is believed to include some of Australian rugby’s top earners and players who have ticked off a minimum number of years’ service. These players will not be payed by either Rugby Australia or their franchises during their sabbaticals, if they choose to take up that option.
Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle – who herself has taken a 65% salary cut for the next six months – said while negotiations had been difficult, the cuts were a necessary measure.
‘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 stop gap, not a full stop.
‘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.’
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