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Volume 10 No. 25
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Australian Rugby Union To Scrap Club Player Payments, Wants To Return To Amateur Days

Sydney rugby clubs "will have their funding cut if they pay players because the Australian Rugby Union plans to return club rugby to its amateur days," according to Georgina Robinson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Under "watershed reforms" being considered while top club teams Sydney University and Eastwood prepare to play in the Shute Shield grand final this weekend, the ARU wants to make its funding levels of about A$60,000 ($55,000) for each premier club contingent on stamping out player payments, which can be up to A$10,000 a season. The ARU "is also poised to formalise the rights of Super Rugby franchises to prevent contracted players from returning to their Sydney and Brisbane clubs at any point during or after the Super season." The proposed changes "are part of a broader plan to build Australia's so-called third tier around a 'national club championship' that would run from August to October, after the end of the premier club competitions" (SMH, 9/10).