Retaining Giteau is top priority for Force


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RugbyWA Chief Executive Greg Harris has issued the following statement on issues relating to Firepower Global.

‘There have been speculative news reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and the West Australian this week relating to late payments to Emirates Western Force players by Firepower Global,’ said Harris.

‘We are currently working through some critical issues with a small group of players who have third party arrangements with the company.’

Harris said RugbyWA was unable to speculate on the amount of monies owed to its players.

‘These arrangements were made separate to the players’ RugbyWA and ARU contracts and we are not in a position to comment on any amounts owed to the players. It is standard policy not to discuss any financial arrangements in player contracts.’

‘The players have made us aware of the issues and as a responsible employer we will do everything we can to achieve the best possible outcome for those whose third-party arrangements are under duress.’

Harris confirmed that RugbyWA on behalf of a small group of players had been seeking alternative arrangements with various supporters to offset shortfalls in third party player arrangements.

He said the retention of star Wallabies back Matt Giteau beyond 2009 remained top priority for the WA side, despite speculation the 25 year old was reconsidering his position with the club.

‘As far as we’re concerned Matt is contracted to the Western Force until the end of the 2009 season and we are hopeful that he will remain with the club for the 2010 and 2011 seasons,’ said Harris.

‘That said it is our number one priority to ensure that we retain the likes of Matt and other senior players on our list.’

‘It is my understanding that a very attractive offer has been made to Matt and his management to assist in extending his contract with the Emirates Western Force beyond 2009.’

RugbyWA will make no further comment on the issue at this stage.

Matt Giteau has declined to comment on his personal situation.

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