We’ve Come a Long Way Since ‘96

The New Zealand Herald reports that should the New Zealand All Blacks fulfill their destiny and win the 2011 Rugby World Cup (held in New Zealand, even) the NZ Rugby Union will pay NZ$ 100,000 to each player.

Quote:

The Collective Agreement between the New Zealand Rugby Union and the Players’ Association, which was formally ratified yesterday, sets in stone a payment of $100,000 to each member of the All Blacks squad should they win next year’s showpiece event.

Should they make the final at Eden Park and lose, they will receive $35,000 each. Just to prove there’s no such thing as a bronze medal in rugby, anything less than second equals $0.

As if the All Blacks needed any more incentive to want to win the World Cup.  Now if there’s a team that knows how to not squander the complete home-field advantage they will have in 2011, it’s the All Blacks.

But more importantly, it’s hard to believe that prior to 1996 rugby was still an amateur sport.  Moving into the professional era was one of the best things that rugby could do, it kept the best rugby players in the sport and they could finally earn incentives like this without having to worry about losing their playing eligibility.

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