International locks Izack Rodda and Harry Hockings and fullback Isaac Lucas from the Queensland Reds recently got stood down. This was after they refused to take pay cuts due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve since terminated their contracts with Rugby Australia.
Anthony Piccone is the agent for all three players and let it be known that the Reds had no legal right to stand the trio down when he confirmed that the players were leaving.
Rodda, with 25 Test caps for Australia, was supposed to play until 2023 and was additionally a Senior Leader in the Reds franchise. Hockings, widely being touted as a possible future lock for the Wallabies, is apparently reviewing his options overseas but there’s no word yet on Lucas’ plans.
These players were the only Australian-based Super Rugby players who declined to decrease their salaries by 60%, an amount agreed upon by RA and the Players’ Union. They were stood down on Monday the 18th of May when players finally returned to practice after the two-month interruption necessitated by the pandemic lockdown.
Super Rugby’s season has been suspended since late March and Australian July International Tests dates were all postponed. But now a shorter Domestic Provincial Competition is likely to launch in July.
Picone has been quoted as saying that Lucas, Hockings, and Rodda made this decision because of the uncertainty around the sports’ financial status, the lack of a broadcasting deal, and worry about whether their contracts would be honoured in the future.
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