"New initiative" - RFU set to sign first male player to central contract - Ruck

“New initiative” – RFU set to sign first male player to central contract

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is reportedly considering using central funds to prevent winger Anthony Watson from leaving England. Watson’s future in the Premiership is uncertain due to salary cap restrictions, and he has been in talks with French club Castres about a potential move.

According to Mail Sport, the RFU is willing to offer Watson a training contract until the end of the World Cup, which would mean that any potential club interested in signing him would only need to pay his salary for the remainder of the season.

This proposal is similar to one that was made to Ben Te’o in 2019, although Te’o did not end up featuring in Eddie Jones’s final squad.

Castres remains the frontrunner to sign Watson, but Saracens and London Irish have also been linked to the speedy winger. Leicester Tigers, Watson’s current team, is struggling to retain him due to financial constraints. However, Saracens is interested in signing Watson to help fill the void left by the departure of Max Malins.

Anthony Watson of England during the England Rugby Training camp at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre, Pennyhill Park on 30 Jan. 2023 Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The talks regarding Watson’s future are being led by Conor O’Shea, the RFU’s Performance Director. The move to retain Watson is part of English rugby’s broader effort to prevent players from leaving for France.

Overall, this proposal by the RFU is an innovative way of keeping talented players like Watson in England, despite the financial challenges faced by Premiership clubs due to salary cap restrictions.

If successful, it could pave the way for other talented players to remain in England and help bolster the country’s rugby union talent pool.


#1. Hollie Shearer – Girlfriend of Joe Marchant

The daughter of the all-time Premier League top goalscorer and England legend Alan, has confirmed she is dating Harlequins and England centre earlier this year.

The 25-year old singer has shared numerous shots with the popular speedster, who has represented his country four times.

Photos shared across social media suggest Hollie’s relationship with the 26-year-old is still in its early stages.