Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle has made the following statement in light of recent reporting on the Australian Rugby Foundation (ARF).

“The Australian Rugby Foundation is the national fundraising body for Rugby in Australia which invests across five key pillars – Community Rugby, Welfare, Women’s Rugby, Indigenous Rugby and High Performance.

“Donations received by the ARF are allocated to a pillar, or multiple pillars, as agreed by the donor. The ARF then grants funding to Rugby Australia to invest in those areas of the game.

“The ARF operates within the Australian Sports Foundation framework, which is endorsed by the Australian tax office.

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“Some of the grant funding Rugby Australia receives from the ARF is invested in key areas of the High Performance program, and has been used to support our top talent.

“While an ARF donor may choose whether their funds are used to aid in the retention of a particular player by Rugby Australia, there is no contractual relationship between the donor and the player.

“All player contracts are negotiated at market value between Rugby Australia, the player and his Super Rugby team.

“The ARF is an important vehicle for fans and philanthropic donors to support the game in the areas that they have a particular passion,” said Castle.