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England players negotiate pay hike to £25,000 per Test match

  • England players are set to demand a wage hike by £10,000
  • The proposed new match fee comes in light of the RFU’s £207.9m revenue
  • It would begin on July 1 and run until the 2019 World Cup in Japan
England’s stars may already be the highest paid players in Test rugby but are negotiating to have their £15,000 fee per match hiked up to a record-high £25,000.

The RFU must sign a new Elite Player Squad (EPS) agreement with Premiership Rugby before the start of next season and England chief executive Ian Ritchie insisted a deal is now close.

Their proposed new fee, which would begin on July 1 and run until the 2019 World Cup, is on the back of the RFU’s record £207.9million revenue last year and would maintain their position as the highest-paid team in the world ahead of the All Blacks and Wallabies.

Ritchie anticipates Eddie Jones gaining more access to his players than any previous England coach in the new deal.

“I think we’ll get the time Eddie wants, he’s been involved and we’ve had discussions about that,” said Ritchie, who was more circumspect about whether England’s players will receive another pay rise.

“You’ve got to recognise that the players and the talent on the pitch is what makes the difference and of course it’s right as professional players they should receive the correct recompense.

“You would not expect me to talk here about what’s going to happen.

“We had a very proper negotiation the last time we had a four-year deal that everyone was happy with. And we’ll look forward to replicating that.

“It was very professionally handled last time and I’ve no reason to doubt it won’t be the same this time round.

“I’m only bothered about what it means in terms of England and I can’t talk about anybody else or if that makes them better paid: the matter is to have a full and proper negotiation. I certainly recognise the value of the players and what they bring to it.”