Rugby Australia says it has made good progress in negotiating an emergency interim pay deal with the Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA).

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The two groups met on Sunday, with a RA statement saying talks had been positive and robust, as they sought to reach an agreement on salary cuts, forced by the coronavirus pandemic which had prevented games being played.

Rugby Australia said both parties had agreed to move negotiations forward and ongoing discussions were scheduled for this week.

RUPA CEO and former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison said on Saturday it might take a week or longer to reach an agreement, given what had transpired in other codes on the same issue.

Last week, RUPA had complained it had not been given access to financial information before previous meetings with RA.

Earlier this week, some 75 per cent of RA’s non-player workforce were stood down and the governing body announced a $9.4 million loss.

Castle herself an nounced she was taking a 50 per cent pay cut and members of the RA executive would sacrifice 30 per cent of their wage.

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“Rugby Australia remains focused on securing a fair and reasonable deal with the players that will help protect the long-term future of our game,” Castle and RA chairman Paul McLean said on Sunday in a statement.

“We also welcome recent comments by World Rugby as it assists all national unions navigate through this very difficult time.”

“The players understand that the burden must be shared by everyone in our game and we will look to reach an agreement which is fair and reasonable given the extraordinary circumstances we are in.”

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