RFU, Premiership agree new deal


The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) have signed a new eight-year professional game agreement worth a minimum of £200million.

The deal, which runs until July 2024, will see Premiership clubs benefit from the successful financial performance of the England rugby team for the first time under a revenue-sharing model.

Clubs are required to meet the English Qualified Player threshold and achieve pre-arranged standards for Elite Player Squads and academies to maximise their earnings, which can increase in the second half of the arrangement. 

The new agreement will see the England Elite Player Squad expand from 33 to 45 players. The England head coach, currently Australian Eddie Jones, can now select 36 players, up from 33, for core international camps.

"This is a true partnership focused on making English rugby the best in the world for club and country," RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said in a statement.

"A strong partnership between the RFU and the PRL is critical if we are to grow professional rugby across the country for the benefit of the players, fans and the game.

"The RFU is focused on investing in Premiership clubs, to ensure they are sustainable, thriving businesses, which will develop players for the national game.

"We look forward to working with Premiership Rugby over the next eight years to promote and support rugby in England."  

Ritchie's RFL counterpart Mark McCafferty added: "Success for England and the clubs depends on an effective partnership between the RFU and Premiership Rugby on many levels.

"The significantly increased monies to the Premiership clubs, alongside their own increased TV and commercial revenues, will ensure that Aviva Premiership Rugby continues to go from strength-to-strength based on world-class England Qualified Players and a very strong academy pipeline of talent. In addition, this is intended to underpin further European success."