Australia's Super Rugby players get pay rise
Sydney - Australia's Super Rugby players were handed a pay
rise and squad sizes were expanded to up to 40 players as part of a new
collective bargaining agreement announced on Wednesday.
Australia's national women's team, the Wallaroos, were also
included for the first time in the new deal, which was negotiated between Rugby
Australia, the country's four Super Rugby franchises and the Rugby Union
Players Association, and is effective from now until the end of the current broadcast
deal in 2020.
The overall Super Rugby salary cap has been adjusted to a
total of Aus$5.5 million, with the average player receiving Aus$225 000 in
2018. Reports said this was a rise of about 10 percent.
Super Rugby franchises will also be permitted to sign
between 36 and 40 players, which is an increase of at least five players on
Following the demise of the Western Force, which was
controversially axed as part of the move to cut Super Rugby from 18 to 15
teams, the overall base of professional players involved in Super Rugby in
Australia has shrunk from 175 to 160.
For the first time, the new deal will include the Wallabies,
Wallaroos, all Super Rugby players and both Australian Rugby Sevens squads.
Pay equality between Super Rugby and Rugby Sevens players - male
and female - has also been achieved, with the entry level full-time minimum
salaries replicated across the professional game.
Rugby Australia chief Bill Pulver said the deal "sets
our game on a strong footing heading into the final three years of our current
"We have struck a balance that will allow greater
investment in the community game, while ensuring that our high-performance
programs are supported to deliver the on-field success that rugby fans demand