RUPA not satisfied with EGM outcome

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia's players were far from satisfied with the extra information discussed at Tuesday's ARU EGM, with Rugby Union Players' Association CEO Ross Xenos voicing his concerns over the process.

Though the players' union backed ARU chairman Cameron Clyne's statement that the meeting was civil but Xenos said in a statement on Wednesday, some of the information left a lot to be desired.

While the majority of the members voted against a resolution to overturn the decision to cut one of Australia's Super Rugby teams, RUPA maintains its stance in support of retaining five teams.

In many ways, the players' hands are tied in action they can take against the decision, though the next step was set to be discussed at the organisation's AGM on Wednesday, with more than 25 current players involved in that meeting.

"VRU and RUPA jointly put three resolutions forward to the meeting strongly believing that the best interests of rugby in Australia are promoted by the retention of all five Super Rugby teams through to the end of the current broadcast cycle," Xenos said in a statement. 

"We continue to contend that vacating professional rugby from any state is a strategy that should not be pursued."

RUPA has launched a petition to keep five Australian teams in Super Rugby. Photo: Getty ImagesXenos said there was no clear explanation on how cutting a team would save the ARU money, nor where those savings would be deployed, despite Clyne saying publicly the funds would be used for grassroots rugby.

"Yesterday’s meeting did not guarantee any certainty of cost savings and there were no commitments from the ARU as to where any extra funds, if realised would be allocated," Xeons said.

"There remains no clear legal path or time frame for when a final decision will be made."

RUPA took more kindly to the support for their third resolution, around possibly establishing a Super Rugby commission, the only movement passed on Tuesday.

"The support from Voting Members for the third of our resolutions proposing the establishment of a Super Rugby Commission is an important step for Australian teams to have a stronger platform to collaborate and promote the future of the competition that they participate in," he said.

Meanwhile, the Force and the Rebels continue to announce re-signings and acquisitions for 2018, despite the uncertainty around their future.

The ARU has committed to honouring the contract of any players in the axed team, whether that be facilitating a move to an opposing Super Rugby team or granting a player an early release to take up overseas offers.