June International Tours

RFU confident match fee talks will be a success



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England’s Rugby Football Union moved on Wednesday to counter a report that players were preparing to take strike action in a row over match fees that could affect next month’s two-Test tour of New Zealand.

England’s players are currently paid 9,000 pounds each per game, a flat-rate fee that doesn’t change regardless of whether they win or lose.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, under a new agreement proposed by the RFU, players would receive less up front with the difference made up by a series of performance-related payments.

However, the players are unhappy at any implication they ever give less than their best when appearing for England although some cynics are bound to wonder whether their concerns are motivated, above all, by a potential loss of income.

In a statement, the RFU said: “The RFU can confirm that it is in talks with the PRA (Professional Rugby Players’ Association) and players representatives regarding match fees, for the period July 2008 to June 2012.

“These talks are continuing, and that contrary to speculation, are doing so in a positive and productive manner.

“The existing agreement with the players covering match fees runs through until the end of June 2008, which includes the New Zealand summer tour.”

World Cup finalists England play the All Blacks in Auckland on June 14 and again in Christchurch seven days later.


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