RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

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RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by robbo277 on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 2:38 pm



A lot to take in, but the key things for me:

A lot of the World Cup squad will miss the 2020 Summer tour.
England's 2021 Lions will be better looked after by club and country.

Fairly positive, not sure if the reforms will go far enough however.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by marty2086 on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 2:50 pm

It had to come sooner or later, I take it there will be some extra credits in the salary cap or extra cash for the clubs with this agreement?

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 3:37 pm


The domestic season has been extended, with 2019-20 running from 21 September to 20 June, although a "mandatory five-week post-season rest" period is also in place.

Guaranteed in-season breaks for players in each of the three seasons.

Mandatory five-week post-season rest for all players, which includes two weeks' absolute rest and three weeks' active rest.

Minimum 10 weeks off/pre-season for players in the England Senior Elite Player Squad.

Minimum 12 weeks between the Premiership final and round one of the following league season.

Maximum 35 match involvements (more than 20 minutes) in any one season for all players.

Maximum 30 full game equivalents (reduced from 32) in any one season for all players.

England players to have a mandatory rest week if playing all international matches and more than 65% of total minutes (reduced from 80%).

Not sure what is the current set up, but mandatory 10 week off/preseason sounds a lot better than we currently have, reduction in game time and in season breaks, although it does not say for how long and if they can be continuous. How does down time due to injury work? is it considered a break?

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by munkian on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 3:40 pm

What are they going to blame their poor European form on then ? Shocked
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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 24 Oct 2018, 2:08 am

First thing I looked at was the dates of the Premiership finals for the three years 2020-2022.

The dates for the 3 seasons are:

2019/20 - Oct 20th - June 20th - starts latest and finishes 6 days earlier
2020/21 - Sep 12th - June 26th - starts earliest and finishes latest
2021/22 - Sep 18th - June 18th - Starts later and finishes 8 days earlier.
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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by hugehandoff on Wed 24 Oct 2018, 9:46 am

Papers are all full of how the new rugby calendar diminishes the Lions tours. They are reduced to 5 weeks from 6 and there will now be no break between the premiership final and the start of the tour. All the Celtic players will have had their domestic season end earlier and will be available to join the Lions training camps earlier putting the English players at a huge disadvantage. A real shame they could not end the domestic season 1 week earlier in Lions years.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by SecretFly on Wed 24 Oct 2018, 9:50 am

Two weeks absolute rest and three weeks active rest?

Yeah, I agree, we should all get that. Five weeks summer holidays! Yahoo

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by robbo277 on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 11:48 am

Now the players are saying they're not happy with these proposals as they'll miss out on test match fees.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c2b0524c-de16-11e8-8469-be4fc9fcee5f

I only read the preview, not behind the paywall, but the gist of it is the players will miss out on revenue - I guess relating to the 2020 summer tour they won't play.

This in addition to the 10 month season getting a lot of criticism for the mental toll it will take.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 12:16 pm

Senior England players are angry that a new deal designed to protect their welfare could cost them up to £75,000 each in lost income because they will have to miss lucrative Test matches.

Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), was confronted over the issue during a heated meeting at the England training base in Portugal.

The RPA endorsed the extension of the club season to ten months after negotiating the inclusion of guaranteed in-season rest weeks, with specific player-welfare arrangements put in place for the national team.

The World Cup squad will not be selected for the 2020 summer tour to Japan, where England will play two Tests, and those who go on the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa will have to miss one international that November. England players receive about £25,000 per Test from the RFU, which is divided into training money, appearance fee and image rights. The squad who tour Japan would receive a flat fee.

Players also harbour concerns about being forced to hand over their jersey to a rival — but Mark Lambert, the Harlequins prop and RPA chairman, told The Times that player welfare had to be the main consideration. “I do understand there is a financial element now but I look at the bigger picture — we want these players to be fit and healthy and playing as much as possible for their country,” he said.

With England’s squad depleted by injuries, Eddie Jones said he had selected “probably the most inexperienced pack England have had for a long time” for tomorrow’s game against South Africa at Twickenham. The back row of Brad Shields, Tom Curry and Mark Wilson have ten caps between them, while the power-packed Springbok trio of Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen and Warren Whiteley boast 100.

In a change of direction for the team, Jones, the head coach, selected Owen Farrell, whom he described as the side’s “spiritual leader”, at fly half with Ben Te’o at inside centre.

Dylan Hartley, England’s co-captain with Farrell, confirmed that he had spoken to Hopley but did not want to discuss the new-season deal with four autumn Tests looming.

The players are believed to be frustrated that the RPA agreed to the arrangement without consulting them.

“I understand as a one-off it would be something a player would potentially question because of the financial element,” Lambert said. “When those two specific [rest] proposals were made, we saw them as a really positive point from the RFU attempting to look after the highest-profile players in the country, thinking about their long-term welfare.

“If this is an opportunity to get a meaningful rest, I see that as a massive positive. They [the players] may say, ‘Can I not miss games for my club to play for England?’ But the clubs employ the players so there has to be a balance.”

If they want to play less games, then they need to accept they will probably get less money.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by SecretFly on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 12:35 pm

LondonTiger wrote:

If they want to play less games, then they need to accept they will probably get less money.

Hmmmm...not really in the spirit of the whole debate though, is it?  It's more like telling an employee who works long hours at a computer screen, that because of health concerns for their eye strain, their work week will be shortened by a day but they'll forfeit the day in their wages. So we're being nice to you but you have to pay for the niceness.

I know full well that player fatigue was a player concern, so they can't claim it hasn't been an issue they've brought up themselves - but in the end, players don't organise their work year.  The admin people do, and the 'player welfare' changes has obviously been a strategic tactic too from rugby admin people to force feed this 'global season' proposal.  Players kinda have a right to say: 'you're cutting our work week for your own interests as much if not more so than ours.... so why should we lose income when forced (not advised) to play less rugby?

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 12:50 pm

Do you reckon England players may form a union and go on strike? It seems awfully unfair that they may get paid less.
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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 12:52 pm

Could try.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 12:53 pm

They should go on strike. It’s a terrible situation. Poor rugby players losing out on £25,000 a game.
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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by SecretFly on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 1:00 pm

ebop wrote:They should go on strike. It’s a terrible situation. Poor rugby players losing out on £25,000 a game.

If they don't get it, someone does though. So................... let's cut players some slack, at least they bleed or crunch bones for their efforts.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 1:13 pm

SecretFly wrote:
ebop wrote:They should go on strike. It’s a terrible situation. Poor rugby players losing out on £25,000 a game.

If they don't get it, someone does though.  So................... let's cut players some slack, at least they bleed or crunch bones for their efforts.
Do you reckon some players would take the field on crutches for £25,000? Crutches may be a stretch. What about fatigue? Or even minor fatigue? Would a senior England player that is minor fatigued take the field for £25,000? Big call. Hope the English players get what they deserve.
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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 1:30 pm

They'll in the end get an offer and have to weigh up the options. Sh shows if you don't pay players their worth they'll move on.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 1:43 pm

The status quo looks pretty good at £25,000 a pop. Maybe the players will think they’re not so tired after all. No wonder Brad Shields wanted to be English. Good on him making $NZD50k every time he struggles to pull that white jersey over his head.
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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by SecretFly on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 1:44 pm

ebop wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
ebop wrote:They should go on strike. It’s a terrible situation. Poor rugby players losing out on £25,000 a game.

If they don't get it, someone does though.  So................... let's cut players some slack, at least they bleed or crunch bones for their efforts.
Do you reckon some players would take the field on crutches for £25,000? Crutches may be a stretch. What about fatigue? Or even minor fatigue? Would a senior England player that is minor fatigued take the field for £25,000? Big call. Hope the English players get what they deserve.

7 has a point, ebop. Maybe finally the beginning of New Zealand becoming a net importer of players??? Wink

If all the good Kiwis go up north for the money, then there might appear gaps for English players to move into who wouldn't get out of bed for 25,000 a game? 25,100 offered and they're on the plane down South.....


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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 1:50 pm

ebop wrote:Do you reckon some players would take the field on crutches for £25,000?
Players take the field injured all the time. Some might do so for cash, the love of the shirt, or the fear of missing out on playing opprtunities. Richie McCaw played a World Cup with a broken foot. Johnny Sexton took the field for the third Lions test with a broken wrist.

Billy Vunipola said he'd give up some of his salary to play fewer games, and Alex Corbisiero said he had actually asked to do the same. Joe Marler will take a financial hit for putting his family first but these three players are probably the exception. David Flatman said he played too many games sometimes but wouldn't have hesitated to take money to play more.


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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by ebop on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 2:00 pm

SecretFly wrote:
ebop wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
ebop wrote:They should go on strike. It’s a terrible situation. Poor rugby players losing out on £25,000 a game.

If they don't get it, someone does though.  So................... let's cut players some slack, at least they bleed or crunch bones for their efforts.
Do you reckon some players would take the field on crutches for £25,000? Crutches may be a stretch. What about fatigue? Or even minor fatigue? Would a senior England player that is minor fatigued take the field for £25,000? Big call. Hope the English players get what they deserve.

7 has a point, ebop.  Maybe finally the beginning of New Zealand becoming a net importer of players??? Wink

If all the good Kiwis go up north for the money, then there might appear gaps for English players to move into who wouldn't get out of bed for 25,000 a game?   25,100 offered and they're on the plane down South.....

That’s a great idea SecretFly, let me just think of all the England players that NZR would pay £25,100 a game for. I’ll get back to you on that a little bit later.....
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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by robbo277 on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 2:18 pm

Players also harbour concerns about being forced to hand over their jersey to a rival

This point was largely ignored in the article and the subsequent comments.

“They [the players] may say, ‘Can I not miss games for my club to play for England?’ But the clubs employ the players so there has to be a balance.”

And this is important as well I feel. The money and the prestige (and the money that comes with increased prestige, I guess) is concentrated at international level. Would players sacrifice club games for tests? Most probably. The players, it appear, want to reduce their total rugby but preserve their test rugby - therefore it can only follow that they want to play less club rugby.

The clubs will obviously dig their heels in to resist this, as they pay quite a large amount over the players' lifecycle, from academy to retirement.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 2:19 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
ebop wrote:Do you reckon some players would take the field on crutches for £25,000?
Players take the field injured all the time. Some might do so for cash, the love of the shirt, or the fear of missing out on playing opprtunities. Richie McCaw played a World Cup with a broken foot. Johnny Sexton took the field for the third Lions test with a broken wrist.

Billy Vunipola said he'd give up some of his salary to play fewer games, and Alex Corbisiero said he had actually asked to do the same. Joe Marler will take a financial hit for putting his family first but these three players are probably the exception. David Flatman said he played too many games sometimes but wouldn't have hesitated to take money to play more.


Most top Irish players take pay cuts to stay in Ireland and fight it out to make the Ireland team. They nearly always get offered bigger contracts in France but most (not Zebo, Ryan and Sexton) turn them down.

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Re: RFU and clubs agree player welfare reform

Post by Taylorman on Fri 02 Nov 2018, 3:04 pm

SecretFly wrote:
ebop wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
ebop wrote:They should go on strike. It’s a terrible situation. Poor rugby players losing out on £25,000 a game.

If they don't get it, someone does though.  So................... let's cut players some slack, at least they bleed or crunch bones for their efforts.
Do you reckon some players would take the field on crutches for £25,000? Crutches may be a stretch. What about fatigue? Or even minor fatigue? Would a senior England player that is minor fatigued take the field for £25,000? Big call. Hope the English players get what they deserve.

7 has a point, ebop.  Maybe finally the beginning of New Zealand becoming a net importer of players??? Wink

If all the good Kiwis go up north for the money, then there might appear gaps for English players to move into who wouldn't get out of bed for 25,000 a game?   25,100 offered and they're on the plane down South.....


Ha ha, good one. Mitre 10 you mean? Can just imagine Super rugby sides all flocking to hire burnt out English rugby players. But seriously, the thought of having to watch soneone that you always get one over on in club rugby in your jersey because you have formally declared but perhaps not actually ‘burnt out’ cant be good for morale. Handing over £25k because of a blanket rule would be tough.

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