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Top 14 and ProD2 to cut salary cap further - reports

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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The Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) in France are set reduce the salary cap in French rugby further – according to reports.

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Midi Olympique report that the presidents of the Top 14 and Pro D2 met last week in Nice, a meeting in which they confirmed that will reduce their salary cap further.

The salary cap in the top two divisions will drop to 10 million euros from 2024 – according to the report.

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Last year it was revealed that LNR were dropping the salary cap by 12 per cent, from €11.3 million to €9.94 million over the span of several years. The French cap had been going up each year since 2010,

The decision comes following the example of Premiership Rugby who cut their salary cap significantly in 2020.

Their 10 million euro cap is still significantly more than the Gallagher Premiership’s £5 million (€5.9 million) cap – although English clubs can still avail of two players outside of the cap, a scheme which the French are reluctant to adopt.

The move will come as some relief to Premiership DoRs who are struggling to meet the salary expectations of players which are largely fuelled by the salaries on offer both the Top 14 and the ProD2 in France, and professional sides in Japan which are bankrolled by large multi-nationals.

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“What I am finding mainly at the moment is the majority of ballpark salary expectations coming in are still salaries that you would still expect to be paying if it was a £6.4million market,” said Exeter Chiefs’ DoR Rob Baxter last week. “It doesn’t really seem to be at this stage that kind of realisation that it is a big drop off. In theory, it is probably a bit more than a 25 per cent drop off when you start talking about second marquee players disappearing next season if they are not under contract.

“At the moment that does make the Premiership way less competitive when it comes to southern hemisphere sides as an example. So some of the base salary levels in New Zealand and Australia now are actually kind of comparable to what we could offer whereas before in the £6.4m you could be very competitive. On base level contract that is not really the case now and it was certainly not the expectation at this moment. Whether that will change over the next two years I am not sure but I do think that is going to put an onus on developing (local) players so to speak.

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