RA and QRU release Reds rugby trio

Ruben Hill
May 23, 2020

Rodda, 23, and fellow lock Harry Hockings, 21, were joined by 21-year-old fullback Isaac Lucas in being released from their contracts with Rugby Australia and the Queensland Reds, RA and the Queensland Rugby Union said in a statement.

Rodda, fly-half Isaac Lucas and lock Harry Hockings, who all play Super Rugby for the Queensland Reds, were "stood down" by the QRU on Monday after refusing to accept salary reductions or to sign up to the government's JobKeeper programme.

This follows the players' decision to terminate their contracts after the QRU stood them down on Monday.

Rugby Australia (RA) has released three players including national representative Izack Rodda over contract disputes that arose during the pandemic, the game's governing body in the country said.

Johnson was keen to mediate and hoped a resolution could be reached to ensure the trio remained at the Reds, or at least in Australian rugby, given all three were part of the Wallabies' future plans.

"This is their livelihood".

The players' agent, Anthony Picone, argued the Reds had no legal grounds to do so and this morning he confirmed the termination of their RA and Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) contracts. "It is only reasonable that talented players want to secure stable employment during these times", Picone said.

Rodda, who has 25 test caps for Australia, had been contracted until 2023 and was a senior leader in the Reds franchise.

Picone has long ruffled feathers at the Reds.

Castle had been under pressure to retain her position in the face of multiple challenges, including a damaged relationship with top players, the lack of a new broadcasting deal, Rugby Australia's poor financial position that only deepened during the coronavirus pandemic, and a letter co-signed by 10 former Wallabies captains demanding a change of administration because the sport had "lost its way".

"At the same time, 189 professional Rugby players in Australia accepted reduced pay for an interim period to enable the game to navigate this unprecedented situation".

"The future is uncertain, but we should always have as many players in the tent as possible".

The QRU and RA were contacted for comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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