“All players received their full monthly payment in April, with the salary reduction to be amortised over the next five months.”
RUPA now wants attention turned to saving the game in Australia, as the coronavirus pandemic has brought rugby to its knees.
The players emphasised the need for “transformation” in a sport that has waned in popularity in recent years.
“Immediate attention must now turn to the long-term sustainability of the game and this agreement allows the players to make a significant contribution to that,” the statement read.
“RUPA believes in the need for transformation. This process has enabled a greater understanding of the need for ‘root and branch’ reform of the game.
“The players will, with others, focus on playing a role in engaging and supporting all levels of rugby, from grassroots communities through to the professional level.”
RUPA’s comments are sure to reignite a relationship that has been tested during four weeks of negotiations with the game’s national governing body.
The 60 per cent cut to players’ salaries in the coming months slashes a huge chunk of RA’s expenditure at a time when the game is struggling to keep its head above water.
The Herald revealed on Sunday RA would slash its wage bill by about 83 per cent when the players’ cuts, the clubs’ contribution and JobKeeper top-ups were combined.
“This has not been an easy discussion, but it has been a necessary one to ensure that we are able to emerge from the other side of this crisis in the best possible position for the game to move forward,” RA chief executive Raelene Castle said.
“It is important to note that these measures are a stop-gap, not a full-stop.
“We are deep into our planning to ensure we are able to navigate our way through this and be ready for competition to resume as soon as that is possible.
“The players have been involved in this process and we look forward to continuing that work and seeing them back out on the field doing what they do best.”
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.