All Blacks on €88,000 a man to retain rugby World Cup
Agreement also includes a significant increase in funding for the men’s and women’s sevens programmes ahead of Olympics
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw after the 2011 World Cup final against France at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland. Photograph: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
The All Blacks will each get NZ$150,000 (€88,500) if they retain the rugby World Cup in 2015, a 50 per cent increase on their 2011 bonus, according to a new collective bargaining deal released yesterday.
The agreement also includes a significant increase in funding for the men’s and women’s sevens programmes as the country chases Olympic gold at the Rio Games in 2016.
The payment pool for the men’s All Blacks Sevens team has increased from NZ$1.6 million to NZ$3.5 million, allowing the side to offer players full-time contracts to specialise in the game.
Most of the All Blacks sevens players boost their income with provincial contracts. The new agreement allows for the women’s sevens team to be granted retainers and tournament fees when selected.
The new agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Players Association also reduced the salary cap for provincial teams as part of the effort to drive down costs in the semi-professional third tier competition.
The provinces have struggled to make ends meet in recent years with the Otago union having to be bailed out by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) last year.
Other teams have also needed funding help from the national body with NZRU chief Steve Tew stating several times that unions needed to get their books in order.
The maximum retainer has been lowered to NZ$55,000 from NZ$60,000. The salary cap will go down from NZ$1.35 million this year to NZ$1.025 million in 2015.