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Rugby Australia have announced they will let go almost a third of full time staff to mitigate the impact of Covid 19 in terms of finances of the union.
The organisation announced that 47 of it’s 142 full time staff will be leaving over the next few months. The news comes after they announced cuts which will include 30 contractors and casual workers who will lose their jobs immediately. Just last month Rugby Australia announced they could be at a loss of $120 million. Furthermore, they let go three players who refused to take pay cuts. BBC Sport that senior staff will take a 5% decrease in salary, while Rugby Australia’s wage bill will by over $5 million dollars. The Australian rugby website has also been cut, rugby.com.au, which is an independent news arm. The Sunday Morning say that Rugby Australia will now push out it’s own content without a dedicated team of reporters.
Interim Chief Executive of Rugby Australia, Rob Clarke said, “We have delivered the news to staff this morning and told them that Rugby Australia values the contribution of each and every one of them, some of whom have given significant service to Rugby Australia and to the game over many years.” Mr Clarke speaking to the Sunday Morning Herald defended the cuts and stated they were “difficult but prudent in the current landscape”.
Clarke said that a key part of financial planning is a successful Wallabies. He said, “A key part of our financial underpinning is a successful Wallabies,” Clarke said. “It’s not everything but it’s certainly a key part of it. We’ll be protecting that as much as possible … to help get the Wallabies where they need to get to as a world ranking”.
Dave Rennie who is the new head coach won’t have to take a pay cut according to the Chief Executive. He said, “Dave hasn’t started yet, so he will be excluded from that,” Clarke said. “All other staff over a certain threshold will be invited to take a five per cent pay cut. It’s a legal requirement and so we’ll be following the law there”. He also stated the National Rugby Championship would not take place this year. However, he said there has been talks regarding the Bledisloe Cup matches. This of course between Australia and New Zealand, with the likely scenario two games in each country. He said the Wallabies will likely host New Zealand, World Champions South Africa and Argentina in a revised Rugby Championship.