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Rugby Australia set to slash wage bill by 83 per cent

Top stars Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale set for biggest hit but both players are free to move abroad on a sabbatical from 2021.

Hooper is free to join an Irish province on a six-month sabbatical next year.
Hooper is free to join an Irish province on a six-month sabbatical next year.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE AUSTRALIAN RUGBY union are set to take drastic financial measures to safeguard the sport’s future.

A report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald has outlined how an agreement has been reached between the union and the rugby players’ representative body (RUPA) to drastically reduce costs. In total, by the time the government subsidy scheme (Jobkeeper Payment) is factored in, Rugby Australia’s bill will have been reduced by 83 per cent from now until this September.

The sport’s crisis point has been brought on by this year’s sporting shut-down. Rugby Australia are also seeking to secure a broadcast deal for their international games next year.

One source of light is the provision of a low-interest loan from World Rugby who have established a relief fund for unions in trouble.

Australia’s four highest paid players – Michael Hooper, Kurtley Beale, Matt Toomua and Dane Haylett-Petty – will take a collective pay cut of approximately €600,000 over the next six months. Irish provinces may be keen to acquire these players who are eligible for a six-month sabbatical between 2021 and 2023.

Munster’s backs coach, Stephen Larkham, has worked with all four players during his spell as Michael Cheika’s assistant with the Wallabies.

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Garry Doyle

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