Captain call on Rodda adds to pay dispute
DEEPER issues could be behind a pay dispute which has seen Far North Coast rugby union product Izack Rodda stood down from the Queensland Reds.
Rodda, 23, is one of three and the most high profile players in the game to turn down Rugby Australia’s competition-wide 60 per cent player pay-cut proposal.
His short term future is now in limbo after originally signing a deal last season which would keep him under contract in Australia until the end of 2023.
The future of Australian rugby is unclear with the game expected to lose millions during the COVID-19 crisis.
The former Lismore junior and current Wallabies second rower has twice been overlooked to take over as captain at the Reds.
Coach Brad Thorn picked Samu Kerevi as captain last year with the former Wallabies centre leaving the club at the end of the season for a new contract in Japan.
Thorn opted to hand the captaincy to flanker Liam Wright this season while Rodda was eased back into the team after having ankle surgery in the offseason.
Rodda is the most capped Wallabies forward in the team and played in the World Cup in Japan last year.
“At first it was a pretty hard pill to swallow,” Rodda told AAP after missing out on the captaincy in January.
“It left me questioning what else I had to do to get it.
“But we all got sat down and explained why and it made it easier to take and I learnt a lot from that.”
Queensland Reds chief executive David Hanham said the Reds will continue to work towards a resolution with Rodda this week.
Rodda and the other two players, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas share the same player manager in Anthony Picone.
“We’re open to a response from them and the ball is in their court to come back to us this week,” Hanham said.
“They’re good young men and clearly they are part of our long term plans.
“It was a surprise to us they were going to take that position and that’s where our disappointment really comes from.”
Rodda has been part of the Queensland rugby system since leaving Evans Head as a teenager.