STATEMENT: Rugby Australia respond to send-off scandal after Wallaroos anger - Ruck

STATEMENT: Rugby Australia respond to send-off scandal after Wallaroos anger

The stars of Australia’s national women’s rugby team have breached their contracts as a demonstration against Rugby Australia’s excessive spending.

They are alleging that the organisation is channeling more funds towards the partners of Wallabies players, rather than prioritising the well-being of Wallaroos players.

The catalyst for the protest was witnessing the wives and girlfriends of Wallabies stars being seated in business-class for their journey to the Paris World Cup, in stark contrast to the country’s female players who have been compelled to travel in economy class.

Former Wallaroos captain Grace Hamilton has taken the lead in this protest. She posted on social media, conveying the message, “If you never stand up, nothing will ever change,” speaking on behalf of all the players involved.

You told us flying anything beyond economy was too costly. Then you flew the Wallabies business class on a trip shorter than ours,’ the letter reads.

‘You told us full-time contracts were in the pipeline, that there wasn’t enough money to keep the Men in the game, let alone us. Then you paid $5million for an NRL player.

‘You said our program would go professional, and our coach would be full-time. How many coaches has Eddie taken to the World Cup? You continually say we don’t have enough resources and yet we all saw the World Cup send off for the Wallabies.

‘We’ve seen the impact that Women’s sport has had on the Australian sporting landscape, thanks to the @matildas. It’s time for the chairman, board, and CEO to prioritise the future of Australian Women’s Rugby and allocate adequate resources.

 It’s time to acknowledge that we are not promoted equally, even on a free platform.

‘The future of our games hangs in the balance. It’s your move, Rugby Australia.’

A spokesman for RA responded to the Wallaroos, saying the governing body was “taking steps” to invest in the women’s game, with Australia hosting the women’s World Cup in 2029.

“Rugby Australia will continue to involve the Wallaroos playing group, through RUPA (Rugby Union Players Association), in all planning and developments regarding investment in Women’s Rugby,” the RA statement said on Monday.

“We are taking steps towards a fully professional future for the Wallaroos and investing more broadly in women’s rugby across national and community competitions – and we know we have a way to go.

“In line with RA’s commitment to incorporate players on this journey, RA will continue to meet with the elected Super W representatives from each Super W team, the RUPA Women’s Player Director, and the Wallaroos leadership group to listen and work together, to support our female athletes and their coaching and support teams.”

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