Rugby Australia and Queensland Rugby Union release players in coronavirus pay dispute

Queensland Reds in training

Rugby Australia has released three players after they refused to agree to the terms of a coronavirus-related pay cut.

The governing body and Queensland Rugby Union could not come to an agreement with Izack Rodda, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas.

As a result they have been let go by Super 14 franchise Queensland Reds, with the players instead "pursuing termination of their contracts," according to RA.

In March, RA said it was forecasting a shortfall of A$120m (£64.4m) because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The game collectively took the difficult but necessary action to stand down over 70% of the entire rugby workforce, which equates to over 150 workers that are now receiving the JobKeeper subsidy [from the Australian government]," said Rugby Australia interim chief executive Rob Clarke.

"At the same time, 189 professional rugby players in Australia accepted reduced pay for an interim period to enable the game to navigate this unprecedented situation.

"The three Queensland players elected not to accept these terms."

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