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New Zealand Rugby
All Blacks in for World Cup bonus boost
August 21, 2013
New Zealand's Keven Mealamu and Tawera Kerr-Barlow perform the kapo o paga haka, New Zealand v France, Gallaher Cup, Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth, June 22, 2013
Defending their World Cup crown will bring All Blacks players more than rugby glory © Getty Images
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The All Blacks will be in for a big increase in bonuses if they manage to pull off back-to-back IRB World Cup titles in England in 2015.

They will get "team performance payments" of $35,000 each for reaching the final and a further $115,000 each if they win the decider at Twickenham. The total of $150,000 is up 50 per cent on the maximum bonus of $100,000 from the 2011 tournament in New Zealand.

The increase is a reflection of the New Zealand Rugby Union's improved financial position and also the difficulty of successfully defending the Cup, something no nation has been able to achieve.

The bonus figures are contained in a new collective employment agreement that the NZRU and the New Zealand Rugby Players Association have signed.

The agreement, which runs through to the end of 2015, keeps the revenue-sharing model, with 36.56 per cent of player-generated revenue, or $121.2 million, set aside for the player payment pool. There are increases in the maximum and minimum retainers for Super Rugby players and a greater focus on Sevens, while women's rugby is included for the first time.

In a bid to reduce the burden on provincial unions, the ITM Cup salary cap has been reduced and there is provision for greater compensation when All Blacks players are unavailable because of Test duty.

Chief executive Steve Tew says the agreement underlines the NZRU's stronger financial position. He says that has come about through containing costs, increasing revenue and restoring cash reserves.

The changes to Super Rugby contracting include increasing the maximum retainer of $180,000 by $5000 each year to $190,000 in 2015. The minimum retainer will go up from $60,000 to $70,000.

With sevens entering the Olympics program in Rio in 2016, the player retainer payments for the men's squad jump from $1.6 million to $3.5 million. There is also provision for $1.9 million for the women's sevens program and $200,000 for the Black Ferns' assembly fees.

© AAP
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