Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Rugby Australia uses charitable foundation to pay elite player salaries

Rugby Australia uses charitable foundation to pay elite player salaries
February 16, 2019

Rugby Australia has defended its use of funds from its national fundraising body, the Australian Rugby Foundation (ARF), to contribute to the salary packages of elite players.

As revealed this week by the Sydney Morning Herald, ARF funds are being used to pay a portion of Wallabies star David Pocock's salary over the term of his current three-year deal.

A similar arrangement previously existed for Israel Folau.

Created by Rugby Australia, the ARF aims to create a self-sustaining 'future fund' for the game in the next couple of years.

In a statement Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle confirmed the practice, advising "some of the grant funding Rugby Australia receives from the ARF is invested in key areas of the High Performance program, and has been used to support our top talent.”

Castle defended the practice as one of "five key pillars" of the ARF's activities, which she described as "community rugby, welfare, women's rugby, indigenous rugby and high performance".

Castle went on to advise "donations received by the ARF are allocated to a pillar, or multiple pillars, as agreed by the donor. The ARF then grants funding to Rugby Australia to invest in those areas of the game.

"The ARF operates within the Australian Sports Foundation framework, which is endorsed by the Australian Tax Office."

Castle added "while an ARF donor may choose whether their funds are used to aid in the retention of a particular player by Rugby Australia, there is no contractual relationship between the donor and the player.

"All player contracts are negotiated at market value between Rugby Australia, the player and his Super Rugby team.

Multi-millionaire investor David Paradice has been identified as the backer paying a portion of Pocock's salary.

Like the Salteri family of Transfield and Tenix fame, who funded Israel Folau until mid-last year, Paradice, worth $519 million last year, is one of a number of private individuals donating to the game through the ARF.

Tony and Josephine Sukkar, the founders of construction company Buildcorp, are also well-known donors to rugby through direct sponsorships, fundraising and donations to the ARF.

Castle concluded "the ARF is an important vehicle for fans and philanthropic donors to support the game in the areas that they have a particular passion."

Related Articles

15th February 2019 - National sports raffle to aid fundraising for grassroots sports and charities

6th February 2019 - Rugby Australia plans for ongoing growth of women’s game

5th February 2019 - Rugby Australia Chief Executive enthusiastic about World League plans

15th January 2019 - Rugby Australia reports rising participation through 2018

17th September 2018 - Rugby Australia to review security after fan incident after Test at Cbus Super Stadium

28th August 2018 - National Rugby Championship expands community connections in fifth season

30th July 2018 - Australian Sports Foundation creates new charitable fund

29th June 2018 - Rugby Australia announces new Chief Commercial Officer appointment

20th May 2018 - Raelene Castle shares plan to revive Australian rugby

29th August 2016 - Australian Sports Foundation reaches $300 million target with record sport donations

19th February 2016 - Sporting legends back ASF goal to exceed $300 million in sport fundraising

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

BioLab Australia Pty Ltd

BioGuard is Australia and New Zealand’s most trusted supplier of premium, innovative and affordable commercial water treatment systems and chemicals. BioGuard offers a comprehensive range of…

read more

Aquatics / Technology / Waterparks



ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation


Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation


Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness



Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues



Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business