The women of the Australian rugby union team has benefitted from a new collective bargaining agreement that will see them being paid for Test matches for the first time ever.
Another coup involves the sevens squads, who will see their base pay raised to a level similar to that paid to the men players on the XV sides.
That may help to ease the financial pressure on players and alleviate some concerns about gender inequality, even after Rugby Australia had to cop to not having the money to pay the women players in the upcoming national women’s XV fixture.
The new collective g=bargaining agreement between Super Rugby players and Rugby Australia runs through the end of the 2020 season, when the current agreement involving broadcast rights is set to expire.
The deal between Rugby Australia and Super Rugby also included the players’’ representatives, so relative calm should reign for the next three seasons.
Another key facet of the new collective bargaining agreement is that Super Rugby clubs can now take on more players, up to 40. That should make it possible by players left out of work by the demise of the Western Force to find steady work. Included with the increase in roster size was a modest increase in salary cap space, from $5 to $5.5 million.
Collective sighs of relief could be heard, as the past year has been a difficult one for players who faced the sprectre of unemployment due to Rugby Australia’s decision to pull the plug on the Western Force, removing the team from the SANZAAR competition.
Attendance figures for Australian teams were not exactly showing positive trends, as the Aussie sides could not secure the Holy Grail of rugby: beating a New Zealand based team.
“Securing this agreement … provides the certainty and stability to put recent challenges behind us,” Rugby Union Players’ Association president Dean Mumm said on Wednesday in a report provided by The Daily Telegraph.