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SBD Global/August 12, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Rugby Union Prepared To Pay More Than $460K To Test Players

The Australian Rugby Union is prepared to pay in excess of A$500,000 ($461,000) "to keep departing Wallabies on ice in club rugby, as a disincentive to other players leaving Australia and on the off-chance they might be needed again at Test level," according to Iain Payten of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Several Wallabies players "are currently in the final months of ARU contracts after signing to play overseas next year." With the ARU in dire financial straits after losing A$19M in the last two years, questions have been asked why the national union would not consider saving an estimated A$500,000 "by agreeing to release the players, and ceasing to pay their wages for the second half of 2014." ARU CEO Bill Pulver said that "the potential to save money was attractive and talks about the contracting window were being held with the players' union, but he didn't foresee any changes to the early release policy." Pulver: "There would clearly be some financial benefit but it is quite a delicate issue, the contracting period" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/11).
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