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Wallabies coach Rennie takes pay cut before day 1 in job

SYDNEY (AP) — Incoming Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has taken a 30% pay cut a month before he starts the job.

Players and administration staff have already had to take pay cuts, and earlier this week Rugby Australia announced an almost 40% reduction in its workforce because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dave instigated the conversation and volunteered to take the same pay cut as the other (senior) executives in the organization,” Rugby Australia interim chief executive Rob Clarke told Australian Associated Press on Friday.

Rennie also took a pay cut from his former job at Scottish club Glasgow Warriors. He is expected to arrive in Australia in mid-July, although there’s no certainty over when the Wallabies will next play. Tests scheduled against Ireland and Fiji next month have been postponed indefinitely.

A 12-week, five-team domestic Super Rugby tournament will start in July to fill the void after the five-nation Super Rugby tournament was suspended in March. New Zealand will starts its abbreviated domestic Super Rugby competition next week.

Clarke said every Rugby Australia department had been reviewed in a bid to cut administrative costs, leading to 47 of the 142 full-time staff and a further 30 contractors being laid off.

Rennie is replacing Michael Cheika, who stood down as Wallabies head coach after Australia's World Cup quarterfinal exit in Japan last year.

Rugby Australia is hopeful of getting international competition going again in 2020, and is aiming to establish a quarantine hub in a bid to host a condensed Rugby Championship involving New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and the Wallabies to generate income.

All international rugby has been shut down since March because of the pandemic, but restrictions in Australia and New Zealand are gradually easing.

Clarke is also seeking to lock in an expanded four-test Bledisloe Cup series with the New Zealand All Blacks.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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