RFU rules out regular northern England Test

10:50 AM GMT

The RFU has ruled out staging England games away from Twickenham as it was reported that the national squad is set for a bumper new pay deal.

According to reports in various British newspapers on Thursday, England players will receive between £20-22 million as part of a new four-year deal between the RFU and the Rugby Players Association.

That would ensure the record profit posted by the governing body in the wake of hosting last year’s Rugby World Cup is passed onto the players. Individual match fees for making Eddie Jones’ 23-man squad could rise to as much as £22,000.

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “It’s just a question of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”

However, fans hoping to watch their heroes playing in the north of England appear to be set for disappointment.

England played their final World Cup pool match against Uruguay in Manchester last October, but while that was a success, the RFU are unwilling to play regular games away from Twickenham.

On Wednesday, the governing body’s chairman Andy Coslett cited Twickenham’s 15,000 debenture holders as the main obstacle to an annual game in the north.

“One of the lessons of the World Cup was that the whole country loves the game and gets behind it. But the Union has obligations as well,” he said.

“The financial impact is significant, but it’s not just the money, we have obligations to a large number of debenture holders, who bought the rights and have underwritten for many years Twickenham’s ability to invest in the game and invest in the stadium.

“The debenture holders deserve respect as well and are key stakeholders. It’s a big sum of money because there is no stadium in the north of England with 82,000 seats.”

Meanwhile, England will wear jerseys imprinted with poppies in their autumn series opener against South Africa at Twickenham — with the full support of World Rugby.

The Press Association contributed to this report

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RFU rules out regular northern England Test
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