England Rugby Players Gain Negotiation Power: A Game-Changing Move

The England national rugby union team has reached a significant milestone in their contract negotiations with the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The players, through their newly formed Team England Rugby Ltd, have gained greater independence and control over the negotiation process, including the introduction of ‘hybrid’ contracts that will provide increased financial security and influence over player availability.

BBC Rugby Union News: England Players Gain Greater Control in Contract Negotiations

As the England national rugby union team prepares for their summer tour to Japan and New Zealand, a significant development has occurred in the ongoing contract negotiations between the players and the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

The RFU has opened its books to Team England Rugby Ltd, the body set up by the players to negotiate commercial agreements after they split from the Rugby Players’ Association in January. This move marks a key stage in the talks over future player contracts.

Greater Independence in Negotiations

England captain Jamie George, who heads the newly formed Team England board, emphasized the importance of this collaboration, stating:

“This is not us versus them (the RFU). That was exactly why we wanted to do what we have done. Before it just didn’t work, the synergy just wasn’t there.”

The players are seeking greater independence in the negotiation process, particularly with the introduction of “hybrid” contracts that will form part of the new elite player squad contracts. Under these hybrid deals, up to 25 England stars are set to receive around £160,000 per year, a significant increase from the current match fee of around £20,000.

New Professional Game Agreement

The negotiations are part of the new Professional Game Agreement, which will run for eight years from July 1 and provide the framework for the relationship between the RFU and the top-tier English clubs. The hybrid contracts are designed to give England head coach Steve Borthwick more control over his players and influence them to stay in the Premiership rather than move to France.

Positive Negotiations

Team England board members, including Ellis Genge and Anthony Watson, met with RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney last Tuesday, and the players are pleased with the progress made. George said:

“We’re really happy with the representation we’ve had. It’s been brilliant so far. There are obviously going to be challenges in the negotiations, but we have the right people in the right places, represented by the right people.”

As the England squad departs for their summer tour, the successful outcome of these contract negotiations will be crucial in ensuring the players’ well-being and the team’s continued success on the international stage.

🔗 Source