Pollard's Montpellier agree wage reduction in 'solidarity gesture'


Montpellier (France) (AFP)

South Africa's Rugby World Cup winner Handre Pollard's French side Montpellier announced on Tuesday their players and coaches will take a salary cut due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2018 Top 14 runners up join other French sides in Eben Etzebeth's Toulon, Cheslin Kolbe's Toulouse as well as Clermont and Castres in reducing their wages for the coming campaign.

"A unanimous gesture of solidarity confirmed by everyone involved in the club which should allow Montpellier to restart calmly for the new season, as and when the health situation and government decisions allow," a statement said.

The side, who have Pollard's fellow Springboks in Johan Goosen and Bismarck du Plessis in their squad, did not disclose by how much the wages would be decreased but RMC Sport reported the figure was 12%.

They returned to individual training on June 2 and hope to restart full sessions from the start of next month.

The Top 14 season was declared over in April due to the COVID-19 outbreak but questions remain about which sides will represent the league in next season's European Champions Cup.

Billionaire-backed Montpellier were in eighth place when last term was brought to an end and could miss out on the top-tier of continental competition.

They have signed France's Vincent Rattez, England's Alex Lozowski and are set to confirm South Africa's Cobus Reinach's arrival ahead of the new term.

According to reports in South Africa Pollard earns 1.06 million euros ($1.2million) a year with the club now coached by former France international Philippe Saint-Andre.