Contract rebels prove final straw for fed-up Reds
The disgruntled Reds will pursue transfer fees of more than $100,000 for developing Izack Rodda, Isaac Lucas and Harry Hockings because of their shock exit from contracts.
The high frustration has finally reached boiling point at the Queensland Rugby Union when it comes to nurturing youngsters from their teens and losing them in their early 20s to foreign raiders.
QRU chief executive David Hanham said paperwork had been forwarded to Rugby Australia to seek approval for a formal application to World Rugby so compensation can be sought.
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"We are pursuing it as a priority and a contribution towards the cost of developing players makes sense if they move elsewhere," Hanham said.
"It's not about keeping everyone.
"We can't with more than 100 players developed by Queensland around the world but compensation can go towards keeping our development pathways working well so more players keep being produced."
Just who pays what share of a six-figure compensation figure for the trio is another thing but it would seem logical that the Japanese clubs expected to sign utility Lucas and lock Hockings do.
Wallaby Rodda's plans are far more clouded with regular hints that he wants to stay in Australia.
The Reds are finding out how it feels to be Fiji, Tonga and Samoa because the Pacific Island nations have lost a steady stream of players without compensation to France, Japan, New Zealand, England or Australia.
The QRU feels there is a case under World Rugby's Regulation 4 which covers "Compensation for Player Development", between 17 and 23-years-old, which calculates a proportion of training costs, coach salaries, training infrastructure and assembly costs with teams like the Australian Under-20s.
It's a calculated move by the QRU that has been brewing for years and Rugby Australia director of rugby Scott Johnson is a backer.
Lucas, for example, may have played just 15 Reds' games but he has been advanced in the Queensland rugby pathway for five years in Queensland Schoolboys, State and Australian Under-20s sides and Brisbane City teams since 2016.
There will be a pruning of some jobs at the QRU in the coming months but nothing like the brutal culling of 47 jobs and 30 contractors at RA this week.
The QRU is already running lean with just over 40 staff since major cuts slashed the big-spending ways of former chief executive Jim Carmichael following his departure in 2016.
"Over the next four-to-six weeks, we'll see where we can get better alignment with RA and then we'll work out how best to use our resources for the greatest value to the game," Hanham said.
Skipper Liam Wright and his Reds have upgraded to contact training at Ballymore for the first time in 10 weeks and are working with a tweaked coaching staff out of necessity.
Respected defensive coach Peter Ryan is out of a job because he is a contractor, rather than on staff, which means Michael Todd, the team's senior analyst, has taken on that role with his skills as University of Queensland's Colts coach.
New Wallabies assistant coach Matt Taylor has also bobbed up at Ballymore to add input beside coach Brad Thorn.
Originally published as Contract rebels prove final straw for fed-up Reds