In an attempt to ease the unrest over the game and the loss of sponsor Harvey Norman, Rugby Australia is seeking to recoup over $1 million from the French Rugby Federation for playing Les Bleus on the eve of the World Cup. Former chairman Hamish McLennan received a verbal agreement from ex-French rugby president Bernard Laporte in 2021 promising the Wallabies nearly $2m for playing their final Test against Les Bleus at the Stade de France. However, an agreement was never put in writing. Laporte’s successor Florian Grill stated that the unions only had an “oral agreement” over the match fee. This led to a 41-17 defeat for the Wallabies and further issues, such as Eddie Jones’ side being 0-5 heading into their World Cup opener. Additionally, leaked reports showed that Rugby Australia received under $100,000 for playing Les Bleus in August, causing confusion. Despite Grill’s claim, RA chief executive Phil Waugh mentioned that the organization is still working to collect the fee from the French Rugby Federation. It’s been a tough time for RA, as a blown budget and the need for a new director of high-performance and head coach have emerged. However, as they work towards resolving these issues, hope springs anew thanks to Wallabies-bound NRL star Joseph Suaalii’s anticipated lucrative deal and Dan McKellar’s successes in the English Premiership.

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