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 stuff.co.nz 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
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
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
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.