Rugby Australia chief govt officer Phil Waugh has dominated out splashing any additional money at NRL stars, saying the 15-a-side code can’t proceed to spend “more than we can afford”.
The fallout from RA’s choice to signal Sydney Roosters star Joseph Sua’ali’i on a three-year contract reportedly price $4.8m from 2025 continues virtually eight months after the deal was introduced.
Waugh, who wasn’t RA’s boss on the time, stated rugby wanted to be “fiscally responsible” transferring ahead.
“The game historically has spent more than we can afford,” he informed reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s not just all about money. You don’t want to be attracting people just because of the money and then you don’t have the environment sorted out.
“We can’t ignore the fact that we’ve got athletes, not just rugby league targeting them, but you’ll have overseas clubs target them as well from a rugby perspective.
“We certainly have a job to do in terms of actually getting our game in order to attract the best possible athletes.
“We need to ensure that we’re creating an environment (where) people want to be … and we’re filling stadiums and (have) a real buzz around the game.
“We’re certainly not there right now.”
Waugh stated rugby needed to push the “international component of our game” when attempting to draw and preserve the perfect expertise.
“But what we need to do is actually provide security to our players (so) that they trust the administration and the direction we’re taking the game,” he stated.
“I don’t care if (young) people are playing league and AFL and other sports. Just as long as they’re experiencing rugby and then we’ve actually got a really clear pathway for those 15, 16, 17-year-olds to become Wallabies or Super Rugby players sooner than what they have historically.”