England Players Set To Become Highest Paid Squad In The World Thanks To New Pay Deal

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England players are poised to share in a financial jackpot of over £20 million in a lucrative new four-year deal that strengthens their ­position as the highest paid squad in world rugby.

The new deal has been drawn up as a result of the record profits the RFU revealed following the huge success of last year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

According to the Daily Telegraph the agreement is set to be announced before England’s game against South Africa at Twickenham on Nov 12. It will increase player payments by around 30 per cent, ­taking their combined total for this season alone to more than £5.5 million. That is a total increase of £1.2 million from last year’s deal.

The deal has been agreed with the Rugby Players’ Association following discussions with the players. The new deal ­increases match fees for each player from £17,000 to around £22,000, including image rights and training fees but excluding bonus for winning tournaments or rises in the team’s World Rugby rankings.

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The new deal between the players and the RFU comes as Ritchie has conceded that the number of Test matches may have to be ­reduced for the benefit of player welfare as part of the negotiations over the international fixture schedule after 2019.

The RFU had agreed a ground-breaking £200 million deal with Premiership Rugby to secure the partnership between the governing body and the clubs for the next eight years. It increased both the time that Jones has with his squad ­during the season and the size of the elite player squad, from 33 to 45.

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