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Why players don't deserve the IRFU's megaphone diplomacy

Ruaidhri O'Connor


 

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Helping hand: Jacob Stockdale was one of the players who took a pay cut

Helping hand: Jacob Stockdale was one of the players who took a pay cut

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Helping hand: Jacob Stockdale was one of the players who took a pay cut

Communication, we are told, is a key part to succeeding on the rugby pitch. Unfortunately, the skill seems to have been lost somewhere up the chain at Lansdowne Road, where the battle lines have been drawn between the IRFU and their players ahead of crunch talks.

The union has long enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Rugby Players Ireland (RPI), the body that represents its stars, but the trust built over the last decade has been undermined significantly by a newspaper report on Friday, accompanied by quotes from the IRFU communications director, that the players are in for a 20 per cent pay cut.

While communication lines have been open throughout the Covid-19 crisis, this was the first time that a figure had been mentioned.