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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 21:10 GMT
Clubs to get Lions cash from RFU
The Rugby Football Union has settled its long-running row with Premier Rugby and agreed to make outstanding Lions payments to Wasps, Leicester and Sale.

The RFU withheld 148,000 after the three top-flight clubs refused to honour an 11-week rest and recuperation period for their Lions players.

The RFU's stance prompted Premier Rugby to take legal action.

The row also escalated into a battle over elite player management and England training days.

"It is now time for us to move on from this dispute and seek resolution of the other issues between us," said RFU chairman Martyn Thomas.

Premier Rugby chief executive Mark McAfferty welcomed the news but criticised the union for taking such a hostile stance.

The RFU and Premier Rugby last month agreed that the Long Form Agreement - the blueprint by which the game is run - holds firm until 2007.

That agreement awards England head coach Andy Robinson 16 training days a season on top of Test weeks, which means his World Cup preparations will mirror those of predecessor Sir Clive Woodward in 2003.

Both sides are now looking beyond 2007 and to more productive discussions under the guise of England Rugby Ltd, their joint venture.

The RFU want to reach an agreed season structure with Premier Rugby that will benefit both the clubs and England.

The RFU want to block the season off into sections, with international players available to England only over the autumn Tests and the Six Nations Championship.




SEE ALSO
Clubs meet RFU as row continues
16 Nov 05 |  English
Wheeler on attack over RFU plans
05 Oct 05 |  English
RFU stands firm in Lions dispute
23 Sep 05 |  English
Barwell doubtful over contracts
20 Sep 05 |  English


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