Australia's women players to be paid for test matches under new deal

Australia's women players to be paid for test matches under new deal”

However, clubs will also receive a salary cap boost from $5m to $5.5m - with a 15 per cent reduction for veterans of the franchises effectively meaning a player salary increase of 10 per cent. Players will retain a 29 per cent revenue share.

The announcement comes as part of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that Australia Sevens co-captain Shannon Parry called "a great day for women's sport".

The deal, struck between Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players' Association, runs until 2020 and will also see the women's XV-a-side team included for the first time ever.

2017 was a tumultuous year for rugby union in Australia, but 2018 has started off on a positive foot with Rugby Australia announcing a pay increase for Super Rugby players on Wednesday morning in their new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The pay rise comes after a hard year for players, many of whom faced months of uncertainty as the governing body made the decision to axe the Western Force from the Sanzaar competition.

There is also uncertainty over South Africa's long-term involvement in the competition, with reports suggesting more sides could follow the axed Kings and Cheetahs to Europe.

"It has been a tough but fair negotiation which has provided an outcome that ultimately sets our game on a strong footing heading into the final three years of our current broadcast agreement", outgoing RA chief executive Bill Pulver said.

RUPA Chief Executive Ross Xenos said that the CBA prioritises high performance and player wellbeing as keys to future success.

"It is always a huge honor to be able to represent your country, but when you have to take leave off work without pay for so long like at the Women's Rugby World Cup it does definitely put a significant dent in your pocket", said Parry.

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Professional female players will now also be protected by a new pregnancy policy.

In another win for women, Wallaroos players will receive Test match payments for the first time in 2018. It's unclear if any teams from the African nation will compete beyond the end of the current TV deal in 2020.

The CBA comes after a hard year for rugby union, with the controversial axing of the Western Force from the SANZAAR competition the biggest talking point.

"We did an exhaustive analysis, a massive spreadsheet on all the variables that went into this decision", said Pulver. "This CBA gives them to security to commit to Rugby and to give it their best shot".

"Financially, it made the most sense".

"There has been a lot of public support and a lot of genuine financial support from people in Melbourne that have come out", said Clyne.

For the first time, the CBA includes players from the Wallabies, the Wallaroos, all Super Rugby teams and both Australian Sevens teams.

"This CBA ensures that every player's core conditions of employment continue to improve with every new season, whilst prioritising performance and wellbeing through a range of initiatives which are created to ensure that players are given every opportunity to thrive on and off the field", Xenos said.

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