NRL Execs Discuss Redistributing Rugby League World Cup Money To Minnows
Australian rugby league players could be asked to forfeit $1M ($766,000) in match payments "under a radical plan to reward minnow rivals" following Tonga's Rugby League World Cup "heroics," according to Peter Badel of the Brisbane COURIER-MAIL. National Rugby League officials "have discussed redirecting money given to pampered Kangaroos and Kiwi players to bridge the gap between the World Cup's princes and paupers." The development comes as Tonga coach Kristian Woolf "took aim" at RLWC and int'l league execs "over the disparity in funding." While Australian players receive A$20,000 ($15,300) per test match, Woolf revealed his Tongan squad is being paid a "paltry" A$500 ($383) per game. Should Australia win the World Cup, its 24-man squad will receive A$50,000 ($38,300) per man as negotiated under the NRL's collective bargaining agreement. That equates to a A$1.2M ($919,200) "Kangaroo windfall -- money influential league officials believe should instead be used to help reward rivals from tier-two nations" such as Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Australia and New Zealand's pay arrangement for this RLWC "will not change." The idea to redistribute match payments and have Tongan and Fijian players earning the same match fees as Kangaroos and Kiwi players is "being slated for the next" RLWC (COURIER-MAIL, 11/12).