The union will cease negotiating on players' behalf in the summer

After 20 years of working together, the England men’s team have decided to part ways with the Rugby Players’Association, with the union ceasing to negotiate fees and commercial deals with the Rugby Football Union on the players’ behalf this summer.

According to a report in The Times, a landslide vote amongst players saw the union dropped, and that “the England team were particularly irritated when the Six Nations signed a deal with Netflix for a behind-the-scenes documentary in 2023, after little player consultation,” as well as the actions that led to pay cuts across the board in 2020, during the Covid pandemic.

Tied up in this is the fact that a new Professional Game Partnership (PGP) is on the horizon, with proposals put forward for, amongst other things: near 25 elite England players getting hybrid or “enhanced “contracts. This would mean that the RFU could monitor and control Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and workload more readily.

It is believed that the RPA will continue to represent the Red roses, although some of England women’s players are also represented by the Women’s Rugby Association (WRA) – and you can read an exclusive interview with WRA chief executive officer Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman in the February 2024 edition of Rugby World magazine, out now.

Statement from the Rugby Players Association

“The RPA are disappointed to announce that Team England LLP have chosen to end the RPA’s status as exclusive commercial representatives at the end of the current EPS agreement in June 2024.

“The RPA have proudly represented the England Men’s squad since 2004, consistently positioning them as the best rewarded in global Rugby Union.

“We will continue to support, promote, and protect all elite players in the English game via RPA representation, including those selected to play for the England Men’s side. A current EPS men’s representative has placed on record that the squad give the RPA their full backing in supporting players across the English game.”

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