Christopher Reive/NZ Herald

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After All Blacks coach Ian Foster confirmed his staff had agreed to take pay cuts, players are now working with New Zealand Rugby on reducing their salaries.

Speaking to Newstalk ZB‘s Martin Devlin, All Blacks and Blues first five-eighth Beauden Barrett confirmed cuts to players’ wages were in the works.

“We’re going through that at the moment,” Barrett said. “As an employee of New Zealand Rugby, we’re all facing some tough times and we’re all in this together. We’ve seen some of our colleagues and friends have had to take a few cuts already.

“As players we’re working through that with Rob Nichol and the Players’ Association. That will come out in due course, but yes we will be (taking cuts) at some stage.”

There have been no games being played since Super Rugby went on hiatus on March 15 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. A number of players have been open in their willingness to take a pay cut to help support the game through a tough and uncertain economic period, including All Blacks stars Dane Coles and Jack Goodhue.

Barrett said while how much of a cut the players will take isn’t necessarily something the public needs to know, he understood why people wanted to know.

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“That’s the world we live in. Being professional athletes, everyone feels like they’re invested in what we do and I guess that’s why we have such good fans and there’s such great interest in our sport.

“If and when the time comes and we get all the right numbers together we’ll be happy to say what numbers, what the pay cut is going to look like. I think it’s normal to expect that.”

Like many sportspeople around the country, Barrett, who last played a competitive game of rugby in the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup bronze medal match against Wales last October, has settled into working out in isolation with New Zealand in lockdown.

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The 28-year-old had been officially back in training with the Blues for a week before the competition was brought to a hold, with his debut expected to be midway through the season.

“My feet were really itching by then but then this happened so I’ve sort of just had to unwind again and sit back. You can’t control what’s going on at the moment, but you can certainly control the way you approach it from a mental point of view and look at finding productive ways to get through your days.

“The responsibility is ours to stay fit, stay ready, and I guess stay motivated and enthused about it. It’s obviously a challenging time but we’re used to that as players and we’re trying to do everything we can. The unions and the franchises are working hard on coming up with all kinds of scenarios.

“When we get the green light we’re ready to go, and whoever has maximised this opportunity will be in a better position.”

This article first appeared on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission.

WATCH: Rugby stars in England are considering mutiny over Premiership wage cuts.

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