One thing I wonder about, but don't have any insight into, was how the pro players get paid.
Are all SR players getting the same, or is it on a tiered system whereby say Richie McCaw gets paid more than say Matt Todd. Is it a flat rate regardless of what how many games they play and what happens if a player is out with Injury, and then if they then go and play for the AB's are the AB's paid a base salary and then for every test they are selected they get an additional fee?
Its a tiered system. I used to know the rates a few years ago.....perhaps more than a few years:-)
SuperRugby used to be $80k-$180k
AB's used to be up to $400k (Richie/Dan) and this was on top of SR and Provincial payments.
So, the better the player than the more they earn.
All players have insurance, but it depends on the level of injury for when this kicks in.
7's used to be paid a small retainer and then appearance money per tournament but this was changed a few years ago so that they get the same as a SR player. If you look at the 7's team their players are more settled now as they can make a reasonable living.