Sydney - The Wallabies have agreed to take a cut in their match fees this year in response to the effects of the global financial downturn, the Rugby Union Players' Association said on Thursday.
The players' union said the Wallabies' 2009 Test match payment had been reduced from 11,875 dollars (7,920 US) to 11,500 dollars (7,670 US) per Test.
RUPA said after long consultations with the Australian Rugby Union it was agreed to accept the reduction for this year only. After that it was anticipated Test match payments would return to pre-agreed rates.
"The ARU were able to convince us that, like most other industries, there were abnormal financial constraints being imposed on our sport that needed addressing from all key stakeholders including the players themselves," RUPA chief executive Tony Dempsey said.
"The players are key stakeholders who have a vested interest in ensuring the future financial integrity and health of the game.
"They are custodians of the game and so a decision like this when presented with all the facts was sensible."
Dempsey said the overall savings to the ARU in players' payments will amount to over half a million dollars.
He said the arrangement with the ARU was subject to review in June this year.
The Wallabies' first international will be against the Barbarians in Sydney on June 6 followed by two internationals against Italy in Canberra and Melbourne later that month.