Since when was $196,000 not enough to play for your country?

In the world of rugby today the big news, aside from the ongoing hand wringing that surrounds the Wallabies in general at the moment, was the prospect of Ben Mowen leaving these shores to ply his trade in Europe because of a pay dispute with the ARU.

The story is that he has signed with the Brumbies through 2015 but that that contract has been predicated upon Mowen receiving an ARU top up. The ARU, having spent the GDP of a small country to keep I Folau among others in Wallaby gold, does not have the cash to pay such a top up.

I was sympathetic to the case of Mowen, after all he is the current incumbent for the captaincy of the country and has improved markedly over the last year to secure a spot in the Wallabies line up. Then I read that each Wallabies player earns $14,000 per game. Further, assuming Mowen is selected for all 14 games the Wallabies play this season, he will earn $196,000 on top of his contract with the Wallabies. AND any top up payment will further increase the sum to be paid to Mowen for the honour to represent his country.

Are you kidding me? $14,000 per game is not enough? I know it is a professional game now but can anyone put their hand on their heart and say that the price of representing ones country should be one cent more than the exorbitant amount already paid?

Much like my response to rugby league players breaking contracts to enhance their value on the market, I have a simple response to the grab for cash currently being undertaken by a player seen as a future captain: go and play in Europe! Because frankly: if $196,000 is not enough to keep you in Wallaby gold then I have to question you commitment to that jersey.

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