The players in the four teams that survived Australia’s Super Rugby chop have been rewarded with roughly 10 percent pay increase.
The Western Force were relegated from the competition after last season as Super Rugby reverted back to a 15-team competition and, under a new collective bargaining agreement unveiled on Wednesday, Rugby Australia announced a salary cap increase to AU$5.5m (R53m).
Under the new CBA, effective immediately until the end of the current broadcast deal in 2020, the average Australian Super Rugby player’s salary will be AU$225k (R2.2m), an increase of approximately 10% on 2017.
Official squad sizes for each of the Brumbies, Rebels, Reds and Waratahs were also expanded by five players to a maximum of 40.
Part of the funding for this pay increase has come from the reduction to four teams which has reduced Australia’s Super Rugby player pool to 160 from 175.
In 2017, Australia’s five teams combined for 21 wins in 75 matches.