An eight-year agreement on the future of English rugby has been signed off, meaning an end to the club-v-country row that has bedevilled the sport. All 12 Guinness Premiership clubs have now signed the agreement, which was worked through by the Rugby Football Union and the clubs’ negotiating teams. This paves the way for a good build-up to the 2011 World Cup
The RFU will compensate the clubs in return for having total management control over England’s elite players. A bonus will also be paid to clubs for fielding England-qualified players. The timing of summer tours will also be changed to avoid a repeat of last summer, when the England squad in South Africa was without players from Bath, Leicester and Wasps because of European cup final commitments.
Rob Andrew the elite director of rugby for England and the England coach will select and then manage a 32-man England squad. The clubs will be compensated with an average year’s salary for an elite player if a member of their squad is selected.