Australian Rugby Union CEO Pulver To Put Forward Proposal To Contract Players Centrally
Australia Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver will "put forward a proposal to contract Australia's top players centrally" at his first board meeting Monday, according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. The recently installed CEO "will also raise a plan" to rest Wallabies players from Super Rugby matches in the lead-up to the British and Irish Lions series. The player-contracting system is "one of the key issues" Pulver has been reviewing since taking over two weeks ago. Under the current system, players have two employers, the ARU and their Super Rugby franchises, "which can create country versus club issues, particularly in relation to workload and the management of injuries." There is an argument that Australia "should centrally contract players" as they do in New Zealand, which ensures the All Blacks jersey "always comes first." Pulver said, "As a starting point, the ARU would want to contract a group of elite players. It's not a centralised agenda. It's a system that works for everyone. We want a system that satisfies the requirements of the ARU, the Super Rugby franchises and the players" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/18).