Australia Rugby Incumbent Captain Ben Mowen's Exit Set To Come At Heavy Cost
Australia rugby national team incumbent captain BEN MOWEN "will only receive match payments if he represents the country this year after missing out on an Australian Rugby Union top-up contract," according to Chris Dutton of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. But Mowen denied ARU negotiations "had influenced his shock decision to quit the ACT Brumbies at the end of the year and take up a contract in France." Mowen's decision "ends his chances of leading the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup," but the 29-year-old said that "time with his family," including 18-month-old daughter ELEANOR, "was his priority." The ARU system "only contracts players who have represented the Wallabies for two years," with exemptions made for players such as ISRAEL FOLAU. Mowen made his int'l debut only seven months ago, and he said his decision was based on not being able to ''emotionally invest'' in another two years on the road with the Brumbies and Wallabies. Mowen will earn about as much in France as he could in Australia. But his French deal "will be guaranteed and does not carry the pressure of having to play every week and earn representative bonuses" (SMH, 1/10).