New Zealand’s top players are bracing for pay cuts as a consequence of inactivity for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That is the word from All Blacks and Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles, who said rugby players will be amongst those who will be severely affected financially after the game was put on hold indefinitely following the New Zealand government’s lifting of the coronavirus alert status to level three on Monday.
The latest developments means New Zealand Rugby has delayed its proposed domestic tournament between the country’s Super Rugby teams and they are expected to make a decision soon regarding the All Blacks’ two Tests against Wales and one international with Scotland in July.
Coles said players have come to terms with their inactivity and the consequences that come with it.
“It’s inevitable (pay cuts) and that’s totally understandable considering what’s going on in New Zealand,” Coles told the New Zealand Herald.
“Rugby players in New Zealand might have to prepare for that but that’s just my opinion. You don’t want New Zealand Rugby to go under, it would be a bad thing. So hopefully the rugby players around New Zealand can do their part.”
🗣️ "All New Zealand teams will cease training, and at this stage there are no decisions on the future of the Super Rugby competition or the All Blacks Tests scheduled for July."
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) March 23, 2020
Coles said plans for the revised competition between New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams was always in doubt due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
“We were always keen to do something but we were never going to risk the lives of people and we weren’t going to do it without the government giving it the ok,” he said. “That was the main priority we spoke about.
“After what’s come out I don’t think we’ll be getting together again too soon. Which is fair enough. At the end of the day it’s just rugby and there’s more to life at the moment to worry about, so we’ll just take it as it comes.”