“The decision comes after the three players elected to pursue termination of their contracts after being stood down by the QRU on Monday.
“Rodda, Hockings and Lucas were stood down after they declined to accept a reduction in pay and to nominate for the Australian government’s JobKeeper subsidy, notwithstanding the interim pay agreement between Rugby Australia and RUPA.
“The decision comes after the three players elected to pursue termination of their contracts after being stood down by the QRU on Monday.”
The three players, who are all managed by Anthony Picone – the agent who worked on deals for Will Genia, Liam Gill, Campbell Magnay and Samu Kerevi to leave the Reds and head overseas at the prime of their careers – are now free to take their talents elsewhere.
However, their ugly exit from Australian rugby has not been viewed favourably by administrators and a return in the future may not be a given.
RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said: “As everyone is aware, the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt in every country, across every industry and rugby is no exception.
“As a result, the game collectively took the difficult but necessary action to stand down over 70 per cent of the entire rugby workforce, which equates to over 150 workers that are now receiving the JobKeeper subsidy.
“At the same time, 189 professional rugby players in Australia accepted reduced pay for an interim period to enable the game to navigate this unprecedented situation. The three Queensland players elected not to accept these terms.”
QRU chief executive David Hanham added: “A decision has been made today. Our focus and attention is on the players, staff and rugby community who have committed to our program and our team.”