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England to World Rugby: the Pacific Island mess is your problem, not ours

The RFU has voiced its opinion on the ongoing matter of Pacific Island rugby’s financial instability, calling on World Rugby to take urgent action.

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According to The Independent, the governing body of the game in England has been pressured to give a £75,000 ‘goodwill gesture’ to Samoa after their test a fortnight ago in Twickenham.

The test, which ended in a 48-14 victory for the English, earned the RFU somewhere in the vicinity of £10 million in gate takings. However, CEO Steve Brown has says the responsibility to fix the financial disparity should be on World Rugby, not them.

“We understand they’ve got lots going on, it’s not our job to get involved in that, and it sits within this model of a global season and global agreement of how these things work. But we’re not comfortable with the fact that there are unions out there struggling to make ends meet, that’s not in our interest.” Brown said.

“We want good quality, high quality opponents here with great players and well run unions. So we don’t like that situation, and all we did was help them with a goodwill gesture that hopefully was a reasonable amount of money just from a player perspective. We can’t bail out the whole union – that’s not our job to do that.”

The RFU boss sympathised with the Samoans, saying:

“I think the bottom line is we feel for the unions that are struggling. They’re great competitors, they were great games here as you saw, they’re very committed players and very committed unions as we understand. They’re passionate about coming here and playing as well, so we really feel for the situation they find themselves in.”

The comments come at the end of another tumultuous end of season tour by a Pacific Island team to the UK, with Samoa’s plight dominating headlines.

 

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