Rugby Union

Samoa rugby team.

RFU to pay Samoa goodwill gesture for match against England

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The Rugby Football Union will still pay Samoa £75,000 as a goodwill gesture despite World Rugby revealing that the Pacific Island’s governing body is not bankrupt.

Samoa’s prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi declared on November 8 that the union, of which he is also chairman, had become “insolvent” due to being unable to “pay off our debts with the banks”.

Although the RFU rejected a request to donate a share of revenue generated when England host the Islanders at Twickenham on Saturday – a sum in excess of £5million – they announced they would match the similarly-motivated payment made to Fiji a year ago.

World Rugby issued a statement on Monday clarifying that Samoa’s “union is not bankrupt”, a suspicion it held when Malielegaoi first used a press conference to outline the financial crisis almost a week ago.

The statement read: "Recent statements made by the chairman of the SRU questioning World Rugby’s funding package are inaccurate.

"While the SRU’s failure to implement some jointly agreed high-performance initiatives in 2017 is a concern to World Rugby, it has resulted in a small amount of conditional investment being withheld.

"World Rugby can clarify that the union is not bankrupt and would also like to clarify the inaccurate statements made by the SRU Chairman relating to the selection of the national men’s 15s team coach.

"World Rugby did not interfere with the recruitment and selection process. A clear and transparent process was agreed by all parties."

RUGBYU-SCO-SAM

Uncertainty still hangs over the destination bank account for the £75,000, but the RFU remains committed to honouring the pledge.

“We have said we will make a goodwill payment to Samoa in addition to covering their costs in England,” an RFU spokeswoman said.

“We are seeking guidance from World Rugby on where we should make the payment.”

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Topics:
England Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup
Rugby Union

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