RUPA doubles down on lack of Rugby Australia transparency

The standoff between Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players Association is getting uglier, with the players' union revealing they are still yet to receive an overview of the governing body's financial position.

RUPA chief executive Justin Harrison had, at the start of the week, slammed RA's lack of transparency as other codes had moved swiftly to engage in talks with their respective player unions.

There was a thawing of relations after RA chief Raelene Castle revealed the players were front and centre of the board's planning following Monday's AGM, but with RUPA still to receive the documentation Harrison was seemingly left with no choice but to again take RA to task in public.

"Australia's Professional Rugby Players are awaiting the delivery of, and the opportunity to analyse, information detailing Rugby Australia's financial position. This has not been provided," Harrison said via a RUPA statement on Friday.

"The Rugby Union Players Association again emphasises the need for an open and collaborative approach from RA before we can properly understand our role in Australian rugby's restructure, for both short and long term transformation.

"Our players approach this long-term transformation with a collegiate and team approach and with an acknowledgement the game has to change."

RUPA remains upset about the RA's lack of an open dialogue, Harrison again pointing to the conduct of other Australian sporting organisations and how they were operating amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"That is why RUPA is again respectfully requesting the financial data to fully digest before returning to the table for open and honest negotiations. We see no reasons why RA refuses to engage, despite provision of protection under a non-disclosure agreement.

"At a time when governing bodies in the other major football codes have been open and transparent with their players, RA continues to refuse our requests.

"We look forward to reaching a position where we can work together, and share in the game's vulnerabilities, to find a solution for the benefit of all constituents of Australian rugby."

Rugby was one of the first sports to suspend its season as the COVID-19 crisis spread across the world, largely due to the cross-border play of Super Rugby. But RA was also among the first Australian bodies to suspend grassroots play, a ruling they extended until at least June 1 earlier on Friday.