Multi-millionaires helping Wallabies maintain top players

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
Rugby,
Publish Date
Sunday, 10 February 2019, 2:27PM
David Pocock is one of those having his salary supported by millionaire backers. (Photo / Getty)
David Pocock is one of those having his salary supported by millionaire backers. (Photo / Getty)

Multi-millionaires have been revealed as the men keeping top Wallabies on board, trying to take the All Blacks down.

An Aussie rich lister named David Paradice, whose investment firm handles around $16 billion, has been topping up Wallaby loose forward star David Pocock's salary.

Paradice, who is worth more than $500m, was drawn to Pocock by the veteran player's pro-environment stance against mining.

Pocock was warned by the Australian Rugby Union after a 2014 incident when he chained himself to an excavator at a northern New South Wales mine. Ironically, it was that very protest which has helped Pocock the Wallabies, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Paradice has been topping up Pocock's current three year contract.

Paradice said: "Whatever you do, do the right thing', that's the way he operates and that's what put him on my radar.

"He's big on the environmental side of things like I am and he's basically into doing the right thing, which I am too. To be at the top of your game you have to be highly talented and focused but you do see that a lot of top guys go AWOL and do stupid things.

"I have a huge regard for him, which is why I support him."

Star Wallaby back Israel Folau was backed by the Salteri family, from a major engineering firm, until the middle of last year. The SMH said these previously anonymous backers make tax deductible donations to the Australian Rugby Foundation. Tony and Josephine Sukkar from a big construction company also donate to the foundation.

Paradice has also backed controversial league star Jarryd Hayne and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.

The rugby foundation reportedly refused to comment on donor arrangements.
Pocock, meanwhile, is still battling to get ready for the World Cup, dealing with neck issues.

The Canberra Times reported he is doing special exercises to combat opponents who target him at the breakdown, where he is such a brilliant and game-changing operator.

Pocock said: "I'm hoping I can get it strong and healthy again. It's feeling good [at the moment] but I haven't done contact for a while. I've been pain free for a few weeks now, but we'll see how we go when I get back into contact."

 

WatchMe

Daniel McHardy Afternoons

Daniel McHardy Afternoons

1PM - 4PM