An opportunity for Samoa’s rugby league stars in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) to get paid lucrative test match fees like their Australian and Kiwi colleagues has been rejected.
Australia’s News Corp Group reported that the NRL boss Andrew Abdo has criticised the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) for rejecting the proposal from the NRL to pay players from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) the same fixed fee as stars from tier-one powerhouses Australia and New Zealand.
“Our proposal was we carve off a small amount of our overall AUD$1.347 billion (US$902 million) offer that would mean all NRL and NRLW-contracted players, regardless of which country they choose to play for, will be paid the same amount for an international game,” Abdo said, reports News Corp Group. “They rejected our offer and said ‘no’.
“They only want the Australian men and women paid from that AUD$1.347 billion(US$902 million) player-payment pool.”
Abdo has come out swinging, as the AUD$37 million (US$24 million) representative-payment dispute takes another turn, saying the code’s biggest Pasifika stars such as Jason Taumalolo, David Fifita and Junior Paulo are being ripped off.
According to the News Corp Group, the likes of Taumalolo, Fifita and Paulo have represented Tonga and Samoa for AUD$500(US$334) – or no payment at all – while Australian top-liners such as James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell have pocketed up to AUD$20,000(US$13,000) for a Test match.
Arguing that the proposal put forward by the NRL will strengthen the international game, Abdo reportedly said the Australian Rugby League Commission has put forward a proposal, which would ensure rugby league’s Polynesian players, who make up an estimated 48 percent of NRL-contracted players are better compensated.
The NRL Chief Executive says their plans for a “standardised Test match fee of AUD$5000(US$3,334)” broke down due to the collapse in relations between the NRL and the RLPA on Wednesday last week due to a Collective Bargaining Agreement saga labelled a “player-rights war”.
Essentially, the NRL wants Pasifika stars to be paid the same as their Australian and Kiwi counterparts, News Corp Group reports. Abdo lashed the RLPA for not coming to the international party.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS