In response to this evening’s SANZAAR announcement confirming the future of Super Rugby, RUPA Chief Executive Officer Ross Xenos said:
“Australia’s professional Rugby players are incredibly frustrated and deeply disappointed by today’s confirmation that the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has voted to axe an Australian team from Super Rugby in 2018 and beyond.
“Having signed Australian Rugby up to a competition which reduced local content, diluted tribalism and disrespected fans with its lack of integrity, ARU have now agreed to a new model which has protected the expansion teams in Argentina and Japan at the cost of one of our own.
“Despite receiving $30 million of additional annual broadcast revenue from 2016, the financial challenges of Australian Rugby will likely be used to justify today’s short-sighted and ill-conceived decision which will limit the growth of Rugby in Australia for generations to come.
“It is tomorrow’s players, coaches and fans who will now pay the price for this strategic mismanagement. This decision will be the catalyst for an irresponsible human cost without any genuine remedies to the real strategic issues that the game faces."
RUPA has taken a strong public position, on behalf of the interests of its members and Australian Rugby more broadly in recent weeks.
With today’s announcement confirming the game’s redacted future, RUPA will work hard to ensure that the contractual rights and wellbeing of all contracted players, their partners and their children are supported from this point onwards amidst the ongoing uncertainty about which four Australian teams will continue in the competition.