Premier Rugby step in over Tonga’uiha dispute

Premier Rugby said Thursday they will set up a formal panel in an attempt to resolve the bitter dispute between Northampton and Saracens over Tongan prop Soane Tonga’uiha.

Northampton announced last week that Tonga’uiha had agreed a new three-year deal with them just two months after Saracens revealed a five-year contract with the player starting next term.

It prompted Premier Rugby, the umbrella organisation for England’s 12 top-flight clubs, to step in and stage a meeting with both clubs.

“Premier Rugby met this morning with Northampton Saints and Saracens to review the issues in dispute over the contractual situation of Soane Tonga’uiha,” said Premier Rugby, in a statement.

“The dispute will now be heard by a formal panel. The date of the panel will be announced in due course.

“Northampton Saints and Saracens have agreed to make no further comment until the conclusion of that meeting.”

Tonga’uhia is expected to be in Saints’ starting line-up for their European Cup quarter-final against Munster in Limerick on Saturday.

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