ARU Wants To Ensure Financial Future Of Wallabies Who Compete In 2016 Olympics
The Australian Rugby Union wants to ensure any players on Australia's national rugby team who make themselves available for the Australian sevens side at the 2016 Rio Olympics "don't lose money as a result," according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. Sevens representatives "are on a vastly inferior pay scale to average Super Rugby players," let alone to the high-profile Wallabies. If the situation were allowed to remain unchanged, any Australian players who turned their backs on Test rugby -- and the A$10,000 ($8,910) match payments that go with it -- to compete at the Olympics "would suffer a serious financial hit." But ARU President Bill Pulver, who agrees fully with Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates' stand that he wants the country's best rugby talent on display in the inaugural Olympics sevens tournament, is "adamant that the cash-strapped national body will not allow that to happen." Pulver: "I want [Australian sevens coach] Michael O'Connor to pick the very best team he can pick and we will try to crack the financial considerations at the time" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/6).