NSWRU cuts 27 per cent of workforce

Adrian Warren

NSW Rugby Union CEO Paul Doorn has stressed his organisation is not abandoning community rugby despite the implementation of more cost cutting measures.

NSWRU has shed 27 per cent of its workforce and implemented a hiring freeze after it was forced it into survival mode by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Seventy per cent of the NSWRU's workforce has been stood down since 1 April.

From July 1 the vast majority of NSWRU's employees will return to work at a reduced capacity.

With funding grants from Rugby Australia reduced and other revenue sources, such as grants and sponsorships, significantly impacted, NSWRU will cut 15 full time contract and casual roles with all the organisation's development officers made redundant.

Positions within senior management, high performance and community rugby will be impacted while there is a pause on any non-essential hirings.

Doorn, who has already had his pay slashed by 30 per cent, will take a further 10 per cent cut.

The measures aimed at protecting the long-term financial viability of rugby in NSW, including savings from staff, players and operating expenses, will reduce the cost base over the next 12 months by $7 million.

NSW Waratahs, who commence their Super Rugby AU program against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Friday, will operate with a reduced squad for the revamped competition.

They are not replacing Kurtley Beale, Rory O'Connor and Siosifa Lisala, who have all left since the original Super Rugby campaign was suspended in March.

The Waratahs coaching staff has not been cut but they will operate with reduced support personnel in sports science and sports medicine areas.

Doorn stressed with a loss of broadcasting and ticket revenue and cuts and salary reductions already implemented in the high-performance sphere, NSWRU had to save costs in other areas.

"I acknowledge that the players have made a significant contribution to our financial sustainability and now the competition is about to commence I'm not going to be cutting back in that space," Doorn told AAP.

"We've had to make some tough calls but yes community rugby will still be supported.

'"It's just that it's not possible to do everything that we've always done.

"I don't think it's fair to say community sport has been left behind, we have got to have a different model that supports them through this particular period.

"There are definitely different opportunities in the space to do things a bit differently."