ARU boss Bill Pulver says he is "not dissatisfied" with the departures of several high-profile players this year.
Amid speculation 42-Test Wallaby Kurtley Beale could be on the cusp of signing with NRL club the Bulldogs, Pulver sought to play down the looming loss of Beale's former Test teammates Kane Douglas, Nick Cummins and Ben Mowen.
"It is a fact of life that Japan and France have a lot of money to throw at players, but actually we're quietly pleased with the support that we've had for our elite players playing in Australia," he said.
"Yes, we've lost a couple, but every year we've lost a couple or more, so we're not unhappy with the outcome. Clearly there are a couple of players we would have liked to have kept and from a strategic development perspective that's something we want to keep a very careful eye on. But we're not dissatisfied with the outcome this year."
Beale is expected to announce his plans for next year in coming weeks, as the Waratahs navigate the knockout stages of this year's Super Rugby season. Pulver said he would not try to second-guess Beale's decision but hoped he would stay.
"We're in a dialogue right now with Kurtley and his manager, I'm not going to try to second-guess the outcome, I can just tell you that I think he's had a wonderful year, played some great great rugby and we'd love to keep him," he said.
Pulver also responded to fierce criticism from Western Force coach Michael Foley, who said the ARU had been "caught with its pants down" over the departure of Force and Wallabies winger Cummins halfway through his contract.
"Well, actually [Foley] didn't say that, he said that Australian rugby was caught with its pants down, and I'm not too sure I even agree with that remark," Pulver said.
"Nick Cummins has been quite vocal about his reasons for going, it's clear that there's a substantial financial game for him, he has a truly unique set of family circumstances and we respect his judgment on that."
- Sydney Morning Herald
Who was the better Springboks lock?