All Blacks set for big pay hike

2013-08-21 11:22
Richie McCaw (Getty)
Wellington - Sevens looks to be the big winner as New Zealand's professional rugby players are set to receive a significant pay increase through the new collective employment agreement.

According to the website, the New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association said today they had signed an agreement covering the professional game through to 2015.

The revenue-sharing model has been maintained at 36.56 percent of all player-generated income, equating to $121.2 million being poured into player payments at all levels of the professional game over the next three years.

That is broken down between retainer payments for players at $86.9m, assembly payments of $14.4m and other player-specific payments of about $19.2m.

Sevens players will receive a major cash injection as the sport moves towards its Olympic debut in 2016, with the women's game in particular being given a leg up into the professional era.

Payments for the New Zealand men's sevens team will increase from $1.6m to $3.5m as the NZRU looks to increase its pool of specialised players.

The women's sevens programme will receive $1.9m to contract "at least" 16 players as the women's game features in the player payment pool for the first time. There is also $200 000 allocated to Black Ferns assembly fees.

The new agreement continues the process of boosting the Super Rugby game, while continuing to tighten the purse strings at provincial level.

Super Rugby teams can now contract up to 32 players (up from 28), with maximum payments remaining at $180 000 for 2013 and rising by $5 000 in each of the following two years.

But the maximum provincial union retainer has been reduced by $5 000 to $55 000, with the "veteran exception" allowed for two players at each union lowered by $5 000 to $85 000.

The minimum provincial retainer has been raised from $15 000 to $18 000, with teams required to have a minimum of 26 players (excluding All Blacks) on contract.

Significantly, unions will receive $50 000 for Rugby Championship All Blacks (up from $35 000), with that amount reduced pro rata if Test players are released to play for their provinces.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  rugby

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