England pay dispute settled
May 21, 2010
England manager Martin Johnson did not want his tour preparations to be disrupted © Getty Images
The Rugby Football Union and Team England Rugby have reached agreement in a pay dispute that threatened to undermine next month's tour of Australia and New Zealand.
English rugby's governing body and the umbrella organisation representing the interests of the England squad were at loggerheads over player payments for the five-match trip, which begins in Perth on June 8, and invited an independent third party to review the matter. The recommendations they produced have since been accepted with both parties expressing their satisfaction that the matter has been resolved.
In a joint statement, the RFU and TER said, "The Rugby Football Union and Team England Rugby are pleased to announce that they have resolved all the outstanding issues over tour payments for the elite player squad for the tour to Australia and New Zealand. Both sides met today with the independent third party appointed to review the situation, and accepted their recommendations. The details of the final resolution remain confidential and will not be disclosed by either party."
England manager Martin Johnson has selected a 44-man tour squad, with his players facing two Tests against Australia in Perth and Sydney, two appointments with the Australian Barbarians and then a clash against New Zealand Maori in Napier.
The pay row is understood to have escalated after some of the squad stood to receive at least £10,000 a player more than their colleagues. A basic tour fee of £7,800 is thought to have been offered, but the 22 players who feature against the Wallabies reportedly stood to receive an additional £5,000 per Test and a possible £1,500 win bonus.
It meant a player who featured in both Tests being guaranteed £17,800, even if England lose in Perth and Sydney. It is not known what agreement has been thrashed out by the independent third party.