Wallabies lock Izack Rodda and Queensland teammates Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings have been stood down without pay after refusing Rugby Australia’s competition-wide player pay-cut proposal.
Australian Super Rugby players agreed to an average 60 per cent salary hit after the competition was paused – and RA’s brittle financial state was revealed – because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Reds returned to training on Monday but did so without the trio, who through their agent notified RA they would not accept the salary hit or register for the government’s JobKeeper subsidy.
“Many industries in Australia are facing the same circumstances as sport in this country and the majority of our people have agreed to reduced hours under the federal JobKeeper legislation, which is assisting businesses such as ours through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Queensland Rugby Union boss David Hanham said.
“As we have outlined before, these conditions are necessary at present and allow the QRU to create a financial bridge to the other side of this pandemic.
“Unfortunately, we have had to take the decision to stand-down three of our players. Given the recent negotiated player-payment reduction agreement, this was not a situation the QRU had expected to face.”
RA’s director of rugby Scott Johnson described it as an “unfortunate” situation.
“We want the players to remain in Australia and honour their contracts with the Reds and Rugby Australia,” he said.
“We are aware they are looking at their legal position, but we hope this can be resolved with the players as soon as possible and we will keep an open dialogue with them.”