England pay dispute rages on
May 14, 2010
Martin Johnson will not want his preparations to be disrupted © Getty Images
The pay dispute between the RFU and England's players will go to arbitration after they failed to agree a compromise despite lengthy negotiations.
The dispute threatens to undermine England's upcoming summer tour, which will see midweek games played against the Australian Barbarians and New Zealand Maori as well as two Test matches against the Wallabies, beginning in Perth on June 8.
Allegedly, players featuring in a Test match 22 will receive a proposed £5,000 match fee, and possible £1,500 win bonus, on top of a reported basic tour fee of £7,800. Those players who play only the midweek games will, according to the report, receive only the flat fee.
Martin Johnson this week named his extended squad for the tour and will want few disruptions as he plots to undo the Wallabies on home turf prior to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Both parties have agreed that the recommendation made by the third party will be binding.
"The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Team England Rugby (TER) LLP, the negotiating body for the England Elite Player Squad, have continued negotiations over player payments for the summer tour to Australia and New Zealand but have failed to find a resolution," an RFU statement read.
"Both parties have therefore agreed that a mutually acceptable independent third party will review the arguments and make a recommendation which both parties have agreed will be binding. The timings around this confidential process are currently being finalised and neither party will make any further comment until the process is complete."
Meanwhile, Harlequins centre Jordan Turner-Hall has been cited for a dangerous tackle on England centre Mathew Tait in their 35-20 win over Sale Sharks in last weekend's Guinness Premiership finale. He will appear before an RFU disciplinary panel on a date yet to be decided.