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Meninga and Kangaroos want equal distribution of payments

Sporting News
Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has emphatically declared that he and his players are very keen for an equal pay scheme to see rugby league grow internationally.

It was recently discovered that Aussie and Kiwi players will receive $20,000 per World Cup game, while Tonga pocket just $500, and Ireland get absolutely nothing.

Having been asked about the situation for the first time, Meninga said there was no doubt what the Australians wanted to do.

"We're positive. We think that's a great idea (an equal distribution scheme)," Meninga said on Big Sports Breakfast.

"We're not greedy, we want the international game to survive.

"I know the players and we've talked about it. I know the players will sell all their prizemoney or their pool money into the pool, and let's distribute it equally.

"Equity around success and things like that, so I mean we are happy to discuss all those things and happy to go down that path.

"People are giving us a hard time about it. That's the rules at the moment, it's not our fault. We're willing to look at some payment schemes down the track.

"Get rewarded for success. Like most businesses in this world.

"Even the nations that come ninth to fourteenth in this instance, they get a piece of the pool for where they finish. We're happy with all that."

The pay dispute has been one of the common themes of this year's World Cup following Tonga's rise to the top, and we have seen nations such as Fiji, Samoa and Lebanon close the gap between tier-one and tier-two nations.

Tongan coach Kristian Woolf called for a change to the system following his side's victory over New Zealand, the first instance in history that a tier-two nation had defeated a tier-one nation.

"My issue is in terms of what the tier-one teams are paid and their budgets. There is a massive difference," Woolf told the Courier Mail.

"Even if we can't get $20,000 for a Test, maybe we could get paid $5000 ... at least the players would feel appreciated for the efforts they have put in."

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