Tonga have confirmed they will once again not get a guaranteed share of the revenues from matches like the money-spinner at Twickenham beyond a promised “goodwill gesture of a donation” from the Rugby Football Union.
The players are on £500 a week, compared with around £17,500 a match for England’s stars, according to a report from the I.
The RFU promised in July a “goodwill gesture of a donation” to Tonga, in rescheduling the fixture originally slated for November 2020, and Tonga Chief Executive Peter Harding revealed a “memorandum of understanding” has been signed to exchange knowledge and personnel.
“When Australia plays England at Twickenham they don’t get a thing for it either,” said Harding.
“At the moment we are negotiating with [RFU chief executive] Bill Sweeney, and England will be fine with us. The issue is we don’t have a real opportunity of hosting England when they come Down Under. Commercially it is not a good decision for them, and it would effectively be a donation.
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““What Tonga has to do is get our own house in order before we start shouting from the rooftops. We don’t have a seat at table at World Rugby’s council yet, whereas Fiji and Samoa do. Our objective is to get into those decision-making bodies and then argue to change those rules.”
The RFU have also loaned Tonga a doctor, a physio, an analyst and an operations manager for this tour, with the Tongans employing short-term coaches in the absence of Toutai Kefu and other non-travelling staff.
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Jones said: “‘We know George is a good player but we’ve asked him to have a look at a couple of things in his game to make him even better,’ said Jones. ‘I think he is doing that. He is playing well.
“But we are keen to give Marcus and Owen the opportunity to play at 10 and 12 and see where they can take our game.”
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