ARU boss agrees to equal pay for Women’s Sevens side

Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver has agreed for his country's Women's Sevens side to receive equal pay in the next two years but the player's union could force him to move on the issue by next year.

Australia's world champion Women's Seven's side are favourites to win the gold medal at next month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. They are still being paid about AUS$20,000 per year less than their male counterparts though.

With the Olympics' start just over a month away and a three-day, combined male and female world series tournament set to be held in Sydney in February, these are exciting times for the sport and its profile and that of Australia's high-riding Women's Sevens side is set to continue to rise.

And Pulver is "absolutely committed" for men and women to receive equal pay "over the next couple of years". 

"Our objective is absolutely to get to equal pay," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

"We've got a bit of work to do to achieve that, I absolutely acknowledge that. 

"Right now there's 10 men's tournaments a year and five women's tournaments a year, but they're [both] professional for 12 months round. I would love to think [parity] is going to happen over the next couple of years."

The ARU are set to open negotiations with the country's Rugby Union Players' Association on a new collective bargaining agreement, and it is understood the players' union could push for equality on base salaries from January 1, 2017. 

Australia's women's squad turned professional in 2014 and the average salary amongst the squad's players is roughly AUS$55,000 compared with about AUS$75,000 in the men's squad, which includes a base salary plus tax free contributions from the Australian Sports Commission and world series win bonuses, which are also tax free.

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