League: Kangaroos still owed $500,000 for tournament win

Darren Lockyer of Australia celebrates with the trophy. Photo / Getty Images
Darren Lockyer of Australia celebrates with the trophy. Photo / Getty Images

Angry Australian Rugby League Commissioner John Grant says he'll make an urgent phone call to "fix up" payments of $500,000 still owing to the Kangaroos who won last year's Four Nations tournament in England.

Three months have passed since Australia beat England 30-8 in the final.

"We're going to fix it, we're going to make a phone call and fix it," said Grant, clearly annoyed the Australians have been the last to get paid.

"It's not right."

Grant was asked about the situation while attending the North Queensland Cowboys NRL season launch in Townsville.

Pushed further he said: "I'm going to make a call ... let's leave it at that. It's on my radar - I found out about it this morning.

"In the transition that goes on between the ARL and the Commission (in handing over control of the game this month), a lot of things have fallen through the cracks.

"Let's assume that this is one of those."

The touring players are owed $25,000 each, $10,000 of which goes into their super fund.

Retired captain Darren Lockyer confirmed to AAP on Friday he hadn't received any of the prizemoney owed from the Four Nations win.

"I'm not worried I won't get the money and I am probably in a different boat to a younger player who has a mortgage and is relying on the money."

Lockyer said he'd never had a problem with representative payments but the Four Nations had been slow to pay players in the past.

"You can understand they have to do audits and other things but the players should be paid for their services," he said of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF), which hosted the event also involving New Zealand and Wales.

Rugby League Association general president and Test forward Petero Civoniceva said it wasn't good enough players were still waiting for their money.

"These are things holding us back as a game," Civoniceva told the Courier Mail newspaper.

"We're the national team going to represent our country and the players should be getting paid for their services.

"Obviously playing for Australia is a huge honour but there is prizemoney at stake and it should be sorted out.

"We're playing on a professional level and there's a way that business should be conducted and being paid on time shouldn't be a problem."

It's understood the RLIF will have a teleconference hook-up with delegates next week to resolve the pay fiasco.

- AAP

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