Samoa Rugby Union to ask for half a million – report says

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Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai.

Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai. (Photo: File)

The Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U) will ask England for £160,000 ($T534,000) cut of next month's £10million (T$32million) Test against England.

The Daily Mail reported that Chief Executive Officer, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, is personally contacting his counterpart, Steve Brown, for the amount.

It follows a story on The Mail on Sunday which revealed Samoa will earn £650 (T$2,100) each for the week - in contrast to a £22,000 (T$72,100) match fee for England stars.

Samoa's pay packet breaks down to just £95 (T$316) per day for their biggest game of the year, prompting World Rugby vice-chairman Gus Pichot to call for widespread financial reform.

"The whole economic equation in rugby is wrong at the moment," Pichot told The MoS. "I can't bull**** you and say it's all fine, because it is a massive issue. We need a long-term plan."

World Rugby are under pressure to introduce a revenue-share model. There is currently no onus on the hosts to split the revenue with their opponents, which is stunting the growth of cash-strapped tier two nations who lack the infrastructure to stage major Test matches.

"The revenue share model has been discussed," said Pichot. "But the tier one countries decided that wouldn't sustain their economies. England can say they built their stadium to generate profit. Scotland can argue they would be broke if they had to revenue share.

"New Zealand can say they need a turnover of 150 million to break even. You could take the view that is selfish, but it's their right to make those points.

"I'm not a great supporter of making the rich richer but I was in those meetings and it's tough. Someone has £200m and they want £220m. I'm looking for a fair growth of the game."

Pichot believes the Argentina model should provide the blueprint for tier two nations. They set up their own franchise, the Jaguares, and only select home-based players.

"The Argentinian system is the way forward," said Pichot. "Our guys are living in Argentina and making good money relative to our economy. Yes, they can make more money in Europe but at least they have the option to stay at home. There is no revenue share there.

"There are talks of Fiji joining Super Rugby and new competitions in new territories in the Islands. The Fiji CEO invited us to tour there. We are pushing the big nations to travel to the Pacific Islands. We have never pushed so hard. Every meeting it's on the agenda."

© Samoa Observer 2016

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