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Exclusive: RFL respond to reports of £250 England player fees

The Super League season will take its second mid-season pause in one week. Following a hiatus for the Challenge Cup final last weekend, hostilities will be paused as both the England men’s and women’s sides travel to France for a doubleheader of mid-season internationals. 

The game will be held at Toulouse’s Stade Ernest-Wallon and the occasion will mark the 90th anniversary of Rugby League in France. Rugby League was pioneered in the country by Jean Galia, who brought France’s first touring side to the UK in 1934.

It has been a positive week for international Rugby League in England, following confirmation that a touring Samoan side would visit for a historic test match tour in the autumn, with games to be played in Wigan and Leeds.

However, the build-up to the French game has been overshadowed by a dispute over the payments players will receive for participating in the game.

Now, the RFL has moved to clarify the situation and explain what the players will receive.

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Josh Charnley

RFL respond to ‘misleading’ England player payment reports

England

Credit: Imago Images

An exclusive report in the iNews earlier in the week suggested that England players would receive just £250 as a match fee for the upcoming international against France. The report suggests this fee is a reduction on previous internationals.

Serious About Rugby League contacted the RFL for comment on the issue and can exclusively reveal their response. They explain that the £250 figure does not include the daily payments which players will receive while they are in camp in the build-up to the game.

This combined amount, which was agreed after initial discussions two weeks ago, equates to a much bigger figure than the reported £250.

Therefore, the total the players will be paid across the duration of their stint in the England camp later this month is consistent with figures from previous years.

International offers vital chance to build towards World Cup

John Bateman and Elliott Whitehead

Credit: Imago Images

England’s game versus France is one of just three international games that Shaun Wane’s men will play during the 2024 season. As such, it provides a valuable opportunity for Wane to build towards the 2026 Rugby League World Cup. The tournament had originally been expected to be held in France in 2025, however, it was cancelled due to financial constraints.

Instead, England’s men’s and women’s sides will travel to Australia in 2025 in a marquee series as part of the build up to the rearranged tournament. The tour will be the first full Ashes series since 2003, when Australia sealed a 3-0 whitewash against Great Britain.

When the fixtures against France were confirmed, RFL Chair, Johnson, stated his delight at having been invited to take part in the game.

Johnson said: “Rugby League in France has a rich and proud history, and the Men’s international side first played England in Paris in 1934. I am delighted that our England sides have been invited be part of the 90th anniversary celebrations. Our thanks go to the FFR XIII for making this possible and we wish them well for the next 90 years.”

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