Welsh rugby players and coaches set to be furloughed

The Professional Rugby Board and Welsh Rugby Players Association have already agreed a 25% pay reduction.

Now the four Welsh regions are turning to the government’s Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80% of wages to staff who are put on leave, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

The scheme lasts until 30 June.

The regions would then aim to top up the remainder of the salaries not covered by the furlough scheme.

Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Dragons are under financial pressures and have put plans in place for players and coaches to be furloughed over the next couple of months.

While the players’ pay cut was collectively agreed between the PRB, WRPA and regions, the decision to furlough players and coaches will be taken by each individual side.

The process will be confirmed when employees have returned and signed proposed documents, with official announcements expected next week.

There is currently no planned return date for professional rugby, with the Pro14 season suspended indefinitely and major doubts over Wales’ summer tour of Japan and New Zealand in June and July.

The players’ salary reduction, effective from 1 April, will last three months until the end of June but the cut will not apply to those earning £25,000 a year or less.

The WRPA wanted to initially defer 25% of players’ monthly gross basic salaries from April until August, with the deferred money then paid next year. but instead players will have their salaries cut by a quarter.

It was announced at the start of April that Wales head coach Wayne Pivac and WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips would take 25% cuts along with other senior executives of the governing body.

The four regions, WRU and WRPA have been asked for comment on the issue of furloughing players and coaches.