Exeter Chiefs chairman Tony Rowe’s recent comments labelling England as “greedy” have not gone down well at all.

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After the Chiefs secured a historic European and domestic double over the weekend when they overcame Wasps in torrid conditions in the Gallagher Premiership final, Rowe chastised the Rugby Football Union for the lack of compensation clubs receive upon losing players during the international window. He said: “We employ the players, they are our players. Being forced to release them for so many international games is not good. We don’t get compensated enough.

“The reality is that we bred these guys for ourselves, we didn’t breed them for England.

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“England can get too greedy. They are very quick to run the other way when we want money. At the moment we are desperate for money in the Premiership to stay alive.”

In the wake of these comments, Rowe has faced an attack from all angles online from those that have taken umbrage with his comments.

The main point that many have raised is that international rugby is the pinnacle of any player’s career, more so than other sports. Though Rowe has not suggested otherwise, the emphasis is that the priority for any player should always be to play international rugby.

Rowe’s comments have not simply fallen on deaf ears; there are those that appreciate his point and understand where he is coming from, but have said that this is a longstanding problem that the likes of Leicester Tigers and Saracens have faced. Moreover, other chairmen have raised this same issue in the past.

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The current deal in place with the RFU for releasing players has also been mentioned by fans in a further line of attack.

Additionally, the timing of this complaint is another area of contention given the financial pressure the RFU finds itself under during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The irony of this entire situation is that Exeter Chiefs are not particularly well represented in the England squad given their recent success.

Only three players, Henry Slade, Harry Williams and Jonny Hill have made Eddie Jones’ 36-man squad, with Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jack Nowell injured.

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When compared to player losses Leicester, Wasps and Saracens faced when they were in their pomp, Exeter could actually count themselves lucky that their squad has not been completely decimated.

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