Robinson backs ARU contract process - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Robinson backs ARU contract process

By Steve Jancetic 03/06/2004 06:06:15 PM Comments (0)

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has rejected calls by the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) for an overhaul of its contract negotiation process.

RUPA president Tony Dempsey told the Sydney Morning Herald that provinces needed greater bargaining power in pursuing the players they wanted, in light of NSW Rugby Union's (NSWRU) failure to sign up rugby league star Andrew Johns.

"Once the asking price is over $110,000, the situation is effectively taken out of the hands of the state union and put into the ARU's court," Dempsey said.

Brett Robinson, manager of the ARU's High Performance Unit, said he believed the system currently in place was working well.

"There were processes in place internally to manage such issues like Andrew (Johns), and those processes have been in place now for eight years, they've stood the test of time," Robinson said.

"I'm very happy with the process."

The NSWRU was upset the ARU, in consultation with the high performance unit, failed to support its bid to get Johns to switch codes.

The ARU declined to top-up NSW's contract offer to the Newcastle halfback due to his age - 30 - and history of injury in recent years.

"I think its got to be clear that the process surrounding the decision on Andrew was a consultative one, NSW were part of that process, and the outcome from rugby as an organisation, which involves NSW, was that we would not pursue Andrew," Robinson said.

"Provinces have the capabilities to contract players, and then when they seek additional funding above a certain level, then they seek ARU assistance."

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