Rugby Players Ireland, the body representing professional rugby players’ interests across the island of Ireland, have said they are ‘very disappointed’ following media reports that the IRFU are pushing for a 20 per cent pay cut.

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This week it was reported in Irish media outlets that the IRFU are set propose more permanent players salary cuts, similar to cuts being proposed across other unions.

The statement from Rugby Players Ireland reads: “We are very disappointed to see recent media reports about proposed player salary cuts. We are in the very early phase of discussions with the IRFU to establish fully the current and long term financial position of the Union and only then can the players fully consider any proposal.

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Teen Lomu running over opposition in 1993.

“Rugby Players Ireland will not be commenting further at this time.”

In March the IRFU implemented changes in player salary payments due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has shaken the global game. However, unlike in France where there has been an across the board 30 per cent pay cut and England where some clubs have instigated a 25 per cent pay cut, players in Ireland adopted a payment deferral model.

In a statement at the time, the governing body for rugby in Ireland explained: “The IRFU, Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster, in agreement and partnership with Rugby Players Ireland and its members, have agreed a payment deferral model for all employees.

“These deferrals, based on an equitable sliding scale which ranges from 10 per cent to 50 per cent, will be effective from April and beyond if required but will remain subject to constant review of the financial circumstances of the IRFU and provinces. The IRFU hopes to return to full pay, and repay any deferrals, as soon as possible.”

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However, the IRFU are now seeking a blanket 20 per cent pay cut according to reports.

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