Wallabies halfback Will Genia says he understands a middle ground may have to be found following calls for the cash-strapped code to slash player payments.
A new Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to end the days of Australian rugby players earning a guaranteed $14,000 per Test win, loss or draw.
The ARU board meets on Monday to discuss ongoing negotiations with the Rugby Union Players’ Association, after the code posted a $19 million deficit in the past two years.
The Wallabies’ dismal results this year, winning just three of their nine Tests to drop to No.4 in the world, have impacted on attendances and sponsorship.
One of the ideas floated has been to introduce an incentive-based pay system, with former World Cup-winning skipper Nick Farr-Jones claiming Wallabies should be paid far less for defeats.
While Genia said he didn’t have an opinion on the matter either way; he conceded there may need to be an element of give and take.
“With the things the way they’ve gone at the moment, the pressure is obviously building, building and building,” said Genia, who has stood in as Wallabies captain on occasions.
“You’ve got to find a middle ground in between. And it adds pressure when the team isn’t doing so well.”
Genia, who will play his 50th Test for the Wallabies in Saturday’s third Bledisloe Cup match in Dunedin, said he hoped any discussions would be held in good faith.
“We’ve just got to understand, if it is to take pay cuts, or get paid less based on performance, you do it because you are all driving in the same direction,” he said.
“Those conversations obviously have to be had, and whatever it is we just deal with it.”