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Friday Jul 21, 2023

Anthony Watson signs landmark contract with RFU

The first of its kind, Anthony Watson his put pen to paper in a landmark training contract with the Rugby Football Union, which will allow him to receive a salary directly through the RFU.

This will allow the player, who is currently deemed ‘unattached’ to a team, to receive a salary throughout the World Cup – the first time this has happened for an English men’s player.

Having made such an impact for Leicester Tigers last season, the Midlands-based club are in prime position to resign the 50+ cap England winger – despite interest from abroad.

Despite being paid directly by the sports governing body, insiders at the RFU were keen to dismiss reports that this is a similar arrangement to that of the Irish Rugby Football Union where players receive their contracts directly from the governing body.

This is designed to be a short-term contingency plan. The 29-year-old was in need of a contract that would keep him, both in the premiership, and receiving a salary ahead of the World Cup – for the simple reason of keeping him available for international selection.

The RFU and Leicester Tigers have provided no comment on the contract, due to the unique nature of the agreement – an agreement that could be construed as favouritism by other clubs.

What is known however, is that the RFU provide £40,000 to the clubs of every player that is selected for the England elite squad. With that in mind, it is not a far-fetched thought to believe that part of this money would be expected to be put towards Watsons training contract.

It is also understood that the RFU, alongside individual clubs, are creating hybrid contracts which will insure greater control for Steve Borthwick and his England coaches over individual training plans and workloads – with further benefits for clubs in exchange.

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