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Rugby Australia agrees player pay deal

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle speaks at the Australian Wallabies RWC Farewell Lunch (by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players Association have confirmed Australia’s professional players will accept a pay cut of about 60 per cent in the coming months.

The news comes after weeks of negotiations between Australia’s 192 professional players and RA. In a statement on Monday night, RA chief executive Raelene Castle said, “While the conversations had not been easy, the measures were necessary.”

Three-quarters of RA’s administrative staff have been stood down until June 30, and CEO Castle has taken a 65-per-cent salary cut for the next six months.

“The financial measures have been secured for the next six months, or until competition can resume, with the Vodafone Super Rugby competition remaining on hold due to government-imposed border and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus,” an RA statement read.

Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) chief executive Justin Harrison said, “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.”

The deal will also see up to six players offered a sabbatical between 2021 and 2023. It is believed this group includes some of Australia’s highest earners and a group of players who have ticked off a minimum number of years’ service in Super Rugby.