Rodda stood down by the Reds
FAR North Coast rugby union product Izack Rodda has been stood down by the Queensland Reds after a pay dispute with Rugby Australia.
The former Lismore junior and current Wallabies second-rower was one of three players who did not attend Reds training in Brisbane yesterday.
Rodda, 23, is the most high profile player at the club who refused Rugby Australia’s competition-wide player pay-cut proposal.
Australian Super Rugby players agreed to an average 60 per cent salary hit over a six-month period with the code struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
Part of the proposal was players being able to register for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper subsidy.
Queensland Reds chief executive David Hanham said it had been a difficult time for the code.
“We understand this situation is difficult for everyone and individual decisions need to be made to protect the long-term viability of rugby in Queensland,” Hanham said.
“Unfortunately, we have had to take the decision to stand down three of our players.
“Many industries in Australia are facing the same circumstances as sport in this country and the majority of our people have agreed to reduced hours under the JobKeeper legislation.
“(It’s) assisting businesses such as ours through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These conditions are necessary at present and allow Queensland Rugby Union to create a financial bridge to the other side of this pandemic.
Rodda has already played in a World Cup with the Wallabies last year and is signed at the Reds until the end of 2023.
He will not be paid until a resolution is made and could be lost overseas if the situation drags on.
Rugby Australia’s director of rugby Scott Johnson said: “This is an unfortunate situation given we have an agreement in place for the interim period while the game navigates the COVID-19 situation.
“We want the players to remain in Australia and honour their contracts with the Reds and Rugby Australia.
“We are aware they are looking at their legal position, but we hope this can be resolved with the players as soon as possible and we will keep an open dialogue with them.”
Reds youngsters Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas are the two other players who have been stood down.
Rodda made his Reds debut in 2017 and earned his first test cap with the Wallabies that same year.
He grew up at Evans Head and started playing rugby at Ballina before joining Lismore.