Sydney (AFP)

Australia's new XV manager Dave Rennie, a New Zealander, has agreed to a 30% cut in temporary wages due to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, The Australian reported on Saturday.

Australian daily Dave Rennie, 56, contacted Australian Rugby Federation Acting Director Rob Clarke this week to explain that he was agreeing to a cut in wages until at least the end of September. , as previously done by other members of the federation.

Appointed in November after the 2019 World Cup to succeed Michael Cheika at the head of the Wallabies, Rennie was officially scheduled to take office in July to finish the season with the Glasgow Warriors. But as the Pro 14 has been suspended due to the pandemic, the Scottish club announced in late May that it had released Rennie a month earlier than expected.

Rennie's contract as head of the Wallabies was not to be affected by the budgetary restrictions imposed within the federation.

"Anyone who knows Dave Rennie like me (knows) that he cannot come to Australia and train without accepting what everyone has accepted," said Australian Federation rugby director Scott Johnson in the columns of The Australian.

"Dave Rennie told me about this a few months ago," said Johnson.

According to the Australian newspaper, Rennie's salary as head of the Wallabies is estimated at 1 million Australian dollars (617,000 euros) per year.

Already in financial difficulty before the coronavirus pandemic, Rugby Australia recorded a deficit of 10 million Australian dollars (5.5 million euros) in 2019. With the cessation of competitions caused by the health crisis, a dozen leaders agreed in late March to cut their wages by 30% until September 30.

Player salaries have been cut by around 60%, while the RA sacked a third of its staff this week.

On the fields, Australian rugby is not at best either: the Wallabies were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup in Japan by losing heavily to England (40-16). The English then rose to the final, beaten by South Africa.

© 2020 AFP