Australia’s Super Rugby players acknowledge unprecedented action is needed with the code going through troubled times, and are demanding an opportunity to talk to Rugby Australia after their annual general meeting.
The possibility of large wage cuts for the players seems certain to be raised at Monday’s AGM, which will be conducted through a video conference.
The Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) are upset RA have not met them to discuss their financial situation prior to the AGM.
Revenue for 2020 will be adversely affected by the Super Rugby tournament being suspended for the foreseeable future after seven rounds, a delay to a proposed domestic competition in its place, while doubt surrounds the Test schedule later in the year. RA are expected to report an operating loss for 2019 at their AGM.
RUPA CEO and former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison says his members are frustrated by what they perceive as an information vacuum during the crisis.
Harrison is worried RUPA will be presented with a fait accompli, with the future of the game decided without any consultation with players.
“There is acknowledgement by the players that unprecedented action is needed,” RUPA president and NSW Waratahs hooker Damien Fitzpatrick said on the eve of the AGM.
“This is a critical time and the players have sought the opportunity to constructively contribute to a solution.
“To date RA has refused to provide us that opportunity.”
Outside of the financial discussions, RA will on Monday fill three positions on its board.
Those positions are set to be taken by 1999 World Cup-winning Wallabies centre Dan Herbert, Virgin Blue co-founder Brett Godfrey and Peter Wiggs, chairman of Supercars.
Either Godfrey or Wiggs is tipped to take over as the chairperson, a spot filled in an interim capacity since last month by former Wallaby Paul McLean.