Australian players are set to take some of the biggest coronavirus induced pay cuts in the game, according to a report from The Australian.
With competitions across the world suspended or cancelled due to the pandemic, national unions have found their income quickly drying up – income that is needed in order to pay their players their dues.
Rugby Australia (RA) are ostensibly in one of the toughest situations of any union with the game already struggling thanks to falling interest in the sport across the country.
The Australian has reported that while Australia's Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) initially suggested that players take three-month, 42 percent wage cuts, RA has countered, saying that players will need to cope with losing a considerably larger proportion of their income.
RA have asked the 192 players contracted to the country to take a mammoth 65 percent pay cut extending until September 30.
Illustrating just how dire the straits are for Australia, RA recently announced at its AGM a provisional loss for the financial year of AU$9.4m. In a worst-case scenario, where rugby is effectively cancelled for 2020, RA could be set to lose AU$120m revenue.
Waratahs chairman Roger Davis told The Australian that the club may have to stand players down if an agreement isn't reached in the near future.
"The Super clubs have been remarkably consistent," Davis said. "We tend to move together, we have a shared problem and that is the combined solvency of our clubs.
"We are hoping for the best, but planning for the worst. At NSW, we simply can't wait for this to be resolved – if necessary, we will move independently.
"We are considering standing down the players if there is no agreement between the parties next week, but we're hopeful it will not come to that.
"Unfortunately, we are not party to the negotiations and have no influence over them.
"We've stood down 75 percent of our staff already, we can't be fiddling while Rome burns."
This article first appeared on RugbyPass.com and is republished with permission.