Multi-millionaire David Paradice has been topping up David Pocock’s current three year playing contract to ensure he remains in Australia as a key member of the Wallaby team.

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The Australian Rugby Union have been battling financial problems making their star players attractive to foreign clubs but the Sunday Morning Herald has revealed that Paradice, whose investment firm handles around $16 billion, has been putting his own money into Pocock’s salary to keep him in the country. The news will only reinforce the view that the ARU cannot compete with overseas clubs in Europe and Japan without outside help.

Paradice, who is worth more than $500m, was initially impressed by the flanker’s pro-environment stance against mining. Pocock was warned by the Australian Rugby Union after a 2014 incident when he chained himself to an excavator at a northern New South Wales mine.Pocock has also highlighted the plight of endangered animals in Africa.

Paradice said: “Whatever you do, do the right thing’, that’s the way he operates and that’s what put him on my radar. He’s big on the environmental side of things like I am and he’s basically into doing the right thing, which I am too. To be at the top of your game you have to be highly talented and focused but you do see that a lot of top guys go AWOL and do stupid things.

David Pocock

“I have a huge regard for him, which is why I support him.”

Another Wallaby star Israel Folau was backed by the Salteri family, from a major engineering firm, until the middle of last year. The SMH said these previously anonymous backers make tax deductible donations to the Australian Rugby Foundation. Tony and Josephine Sukkar from a big construction company also donate to the foundation.

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Paradice has also backed controversial league star Jarryd Hayne and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.

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