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Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007, 17:44 GMT
RFU promises end to England rift
English rugby
Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron has promised the club versus country rift in England will be resolved by June.

Baron, presenting the RFU's 'Way Forward' document, said his body and the 12 Premiership clubs were close to reaching an agreement.

"It ends in June. We have a new way forward in June," said Baron.

"We all feel the same. This time we are going to fix it because everyone is fed up with the bickering."

The structure of English rugby and the power struggle over the access and management of England squad players is widely blamed for the demise in the national team's fortunes since winning the 2003 World Cup.

But the RFU has produced a range of possible solutions to take English rugby into the decade following this year's World Cup in France.

The proposals include central contracts for England internationals, measures for increased player safety and welfare and changes to the structure of the season.

"The strong thing uniting the RFU and the clubs is the desire to fix it and this is what we are going to do," added Baron.

"We are going to find the solutions which have eluded previous attempts.

"Some great names have had a crack at this in the past but they didn't have all the information and data we have now.

"The game belongs to everybody. It isn't the preserve of the people at HQ here, or the 12 top clubs. Everybody needs to have a say."

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09 Feb 07 |  English
The way forward for England
07 Dec 06 |  English
England's era of decline
29 Nov 06 |  English


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