Leicester Tigers have played down speculation that a lawyer was engaged to act on behalf of players allegedly unhappy with the across the board pay cut recently enforced on the squad due to the coronavirus pandemic. Captain Tom Youngs and coach Geordan Murphy, who will soon move upstairs to a director of rugby role to accommodate the arrival of Steve Borthwick as head coach, appeared on the latest episode of Leicester Tigers TV Weekly to tease out recent media reports that have not reflected well on the club.

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“We never engaged a lawyer,” insisted Youngs. “No lawyer was in any Zoom call. Some guys may have gone to get information. Greg Bateman and Ellis Genge have been mentioned in there, they have been brilliant in their work. Greg is the RPA rep, he’s getting information and getting it to the player group so we can get a clear picture of how this is all working. They have done a fantastic job.

“From the playing group it has always been about helping the club through this time, but it had to be regarding us understanding what it entails and implies.

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The Rugby Pod Quarantine Quiz featuring Jim Hamilton and Andy Goode

“We have had a good dialogue this week and really good questions have been answered, and answers have been given to give a clear understanding of what it is all about. This is about the whole club, players and staff, everyone being in it to make sure the club survives this tough time.”

Coach Murphy added: “Guys were slightly confused in the beginning and everyone sought advice, we have tried to keep the playing group involved. This week there have been Zoom calls with the chairman, chief executive, chief operating officer and myself with the playing group. 

“We had really constructive conversations with every member of the squad involved. Everyone had their opportunity to comment, we want to work on this together.”

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This Leicester update has taken place amid speculation elsewhere that frustrated Premiership players are considering setting up a breakaway player union due to dissatisfaction over how the Rugby Players’ Association (the RPA) have acted during the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid across the board pay cuts enforced by the clubs, Damian Hopley’s longstanding union have been accused of ‘not turning up’ in the crisis due to its heavy reliance on funding from Premiership Rugby. 

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