Force wants Super Rugby draft
Wallabies Ben McCalman, left, James Slipper, Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale on promotional duties in Malaga yesterday. Picture: Lincoln Baker/WA News

Western Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry has called for the Australian Rugby Union to introduce a draft system across its five Super Rugby franchises.

His call comes in the wake of the ARU's financial help to Queensland to sign code-hopper Karmichael Hunt while not being able to offer enough to help the Force keep cult figure Nick Cummins.

Hunt is reportedly being paid $600,000 a year.

Cummins, who was not on the ARU's top pay scale, is understood to have doubled his $350,000 annual salary in the move to Coca-Cola Red Sparks in Japan.

The ARU helped secure Hunt after months of indicating it would not top up any offer for the former AFL and NRL player to join the Reds.

Australian Super franchises have a $4.5 million salary cap but because of the ARU top-up system, franchises like NSW and Queensland are able to spend 40-50 per cent more than the Force.

"History says we have not had this kind of help. Although there is a salary cap, there is not a salary cap," Sinderberry said.

"The current system does not promote a level playing field. There is enormous discrepancy in the effective spending capability of sides."

The Force will again seek clarification on ARU recruitment and retention policies from chief executive Bill Pulver while he is in Perth for the Mandela Challenge Plate Test against South Africa at Patersons Stadium tomorrow.

"We are unsure how the ARU prioritise the keeping of Nick Cummins and the signing of Karmichael Hunt," Sinderberry said. "We are not sure how these decisions are being made. We are trying to understand their strategy.

"We want the strongest competition in the world, not one where the teams are the strongest. The value is where there is unpredictability about who is going to win at the end of the season.

"Rugby has got to find a way to equalise the Super Rugby opportunities of all sides while at the same time being able to take advantage of opportunities like (Israel) Folau and now Hunt.

"Ultimately you have to start with a draft."

The Force get dispensation for eight overseas players but they must be paid for under the salary cap.

Meanwhile, Force captain Matt Hodgson is looking forward to playing in Wallaby colours in front of his home crowd for the first time on Saturday. Hodgson and Force teammate prop Pek Cowan are on the reserves bench.

Hodgson is still hoping for further international honours but said his first priority was another improved season with the Force.

The West Australian

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