As a sell-out crowd of 80,000 get set to attend England’s clash with Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday, in a match which could generate up to £10million, it has been reported that Fiji’s players are set to pocket just £400 each for the clash, in comparison to the £22,000 each England player will receive for the encounter.
The RFU have offered Fiji a “goodwill gesture” of £75,000, despite reports that the Pacific Islanders have requested double that amount for their appearance, with the Daily Mail claiming that Fiji are “deeply disappointed” with the payment.
The discrepancy in pay has been brought to the media’s attention after Nathan Hughes, who was born in Fiji, admitted that part of his decision to pledge his national allegiance to the England National side was financially motivated.
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“I would love for Fiji to have more resources, but it is the way it is. They just have to deal with it and live on whatever they have got,” Hughes said.
“There is a big difference and that is why people want to play rugby and how they survive.”
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Despite criticisms over the difference in pay both sets of players will receive, and reports suggesting that the Fiji national team are unhappy with the additional £75,000 offered by the RFU, an RFU spokeswomen told the Standard that the sum was “very warmly received by Fiji”.
Host nations are currently not prohibited to distribute any of their revenue to the opposition, but Fiji are apparently disappointed at not receiving a bigger cut of the games takings, given the magnitude of the match.
There are now talks involving sponsors and kit makers to create a “super” Pacific team with other Island teams, such as Tonga and Samoa, to stop the loss of talent to places such as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
What do you think about the pay difference regarding Saturday's game? Have YOUR say in the comments below.