A new Collective Bargaining Agreement between Wallaby players and the ARU is set to salvage the union's precarious financial position.
Australian players in the past have collected $14,000 per Test match regardless of the result on top of their salary, something that new ARU CEO Bill Pulver is eager to address.
Pulver took over the role from John O'Neill earlier this year and has implemented a series of cost-cutting measures in order to keep the ARU afloat.
Pulling no punches, Pulver revealed the next couple of years in Australia would see the sport "skating on thin ice" as supporter numbers drop and a $19 million loss has hit hard over the last two years.
Despite the income from the British and Irish Lions tour earlier this year, the Wallabies' poor performances in 2013 have also had an impact on the income of the Union.
"My first six months at the ARU a lot of my time has been spent ripping costs out of the place basically," said Pulver.
"It's not been a lot of fun but it's been a very important cleansing experience.
"From a financial perspective we're going to be skating on thin ice for the next couple of years.
"Can we get through? Yes, we can. Is it going to be bloody hard? Yes, it is."
The head of the Rugby Union Players Association in Australia, Greg Harris, insisted that all efforts were being made to help protect the future of the sport as players were willing to take financial cuts.
Harris also highlighted the vastly different state of the game compared to the last time an agreement was drafted in 2005.
"Player directors (RUPA) have been united in their commitment in trying to assist the game in trying to confront the financial issues," Harris told AAP.
"My predecessor (Tony Dempsey) did a very good job of negotiating for the players when the dams were full and there was plenty of water around but we have a drought at the moment so we all have to drink a little bit less.
"The players are being very responsible."