RFU under fire for report omissions

Premier Rugby, already on the offensive in the latest battle between themselves and the RFU over the Heineken Cup, have launched a separate attack on the issue of the RFU’s ‘Way Forward’, the blueprint for the next few years of the English game designed to end the power struggle between the clubs and the national goiverning body.

In a statement released on Saturday, Premier Rugby released a statement pointing out what it called ‘significant omissions’ from the RFU’s initial ‘Fact Base’ document, all of the omissions on a list of factors that Premier Rugby asked to be taken into consideration.

The ‘Fact Base’, intended to be a resource of data upon which decisions in the ‘Way Forward’ was to be founded, was distributed by the RFU to the media and various stakeholders on February 9 for perusal and approval.

The Premier Rugby statement highlighted the following omissions from the original RFU document, all of which they claim were factors that should have been included at the behest of the clubs, as per a meeting on March 8.

The PRL statement said there was:

– No analysis of the pros and cons for England of all aspects of the current international season, e.g. Churchill Cup, Sevens World Series, Lions.

– Minimal analysis of France, which has a successful and expanding club game in both a first and second division and where the national team has won three of the last four Six Nations.

– No analysis of the potential contraction of the domestic New Zealand game as highlighted in their 2006 Funding Review.

– Minimal analysis of the net RFU investment in the professional game at Premiership and First Division levels

Premier Rugby Chief Executive Mark McCafferty added, “In negotiations with the RFU, we have made a comprehensive offer which is supported unanimously by the Clubs and which provides increased player release to England in return for further scope and resources to build on the success of the professional club game in England.

“In parallel however, we are now responding to the RFU’s ‘Way Forward’ process to ensure comprehensive and objective data is available to promote an accurate and informed debate on the best English solution, where the strength of the game at every level is and always has been the club.”

The statement highlighting the omissions was the first part of a two-stage response by Premier Rugby, the second stage will be another statement highlighting the issues that the clubs raised at the March 8 meeting, and to provide the information they perceived to be missing or omitted from the initial report.


365 Digital

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