RUPA response post-General Meeting

By Pete Fairbairn, 21.06.17

On 17 May 2017, the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA) supported a call from the Victorian Rugby Union (VRU) for a General Meeting of the Voting Members of the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) which was held yesterday.

Reflecting on the Meeting, RUPA CEO, Ross Xenos provides the following statement:

Given the uncertainty and ambiguity that has existed as a result of the ARU’s decision to eliminate an Australian Super Rugby team, it was necessary for RUPA to support this Meeting in order for all ARU Voting Members to be afforded a forum to better understand the ARU’s position and to discuss the best means forward for Super Rugby in Australia.

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

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

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.

RUPA was represented at yesterday’s Meeting by Chairman Bruce Hodgkinson SC, who addressed the Meeting in support of the resolutions proposed. Also in attendance were RUPA President Dean Mumm, Melbourne Rebels Player Director Tom English, Western Force Player Director Matt Hodgson and CEO, Xenos.

RUPA will be holding its Annual General Meeting later this afternoon and providing all players in attendance with a further update on the next steps for Super Rugby from this point. No further public comment will be made until after the RUPA AGM.

Pete Fairbairn
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