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SBD Global/December 13, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Rugby Players Wage 'Restrait' In Best Interest Of New Competition

The Australian Rugby Union Players Association "will exercise wage restraint" to help the new National Rugby Championship "become financially viable," according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. The NRC is a reincarnation of the Australian Rugby Championship which lasted only one year in '07 after losing A$5M. One of the main reasons the ARC blew its budget "was because of a high wages bill." RUPA CEO Greg Harris said players had to be "reasonable" in their wage demands if the NRC was to work and provide them with a better pathway to Super Rugby and the Wallabies. Harris: "What we have to look at now is the reality of the game's finances. What we would like to get and what is achievable are totally different things. We have to be reasonable in our discussions." Harris indicated the RUPA agreed with the ARU's position that full Super Rugby contracts "would cover NRC player payments, while additional payments would be made to Extended Player Squad members and other development players" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/13). In Sydney, Iain Payten reported fans "will be called upon to dream up law changes" for use in the NRC next year. Revelations about an ARU plan to put rugby's rules "in the hands of the public" emerged as Sydney Uni and a combined North Harbour club "were among the first of several entities to lodge expressions of interest in joining the inaugural 2014." The ARU "received eight EOIs from possible participants in the NRC, with powerhouse Sydney Uni announcing it would seek entry into the competition, and confirmation from the Gordon, Warringah, Manly and Norths clubs that they had submitted interest as a merged 'north of Sydney Harbour team.'" ARU CEO Bill Pulver said on Tuesday that a suite of "innovative new rules" would be considered for enhanced entertainment value. The ARU is "planning to stage a social media campaign in the new year where it will invite fans to submit ideas on what rules could be tweaked, removed or added to make the games more interesting" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/12).
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