Samoans playing for peanuts at Twickers EXCLUSIVE
SAMOA’S players will earn just £650 (€724) each from next month’s £10million Test against England at Twickenham.
The Mail on Sunday has been told that some of the Pacific Islanders are living ‘beneath the poverty line’ on base club salaries as low as £2,000 per year.
Eddie Jones’ England stars, in stark contrast, will pocket £22,000 each for the autumn international tie.
World Rugby has no rule that host nations share matchday revenue – despite England never playing a Test in Samoa to balance the books – and the governing body has been urged to change the policy.
Last year the RFU, which will cover all of Samoa’s costs, donated £75,000 to Fiji following a request from its union, but it is understood Samoa have made no such request.
‘People are up in arms for a few days but then they move on and World Rugby do nothing about it,’ said former Samoa captain Dan Leo.
‘We still have the same dated system where the hosts keep all the revenue – meaning the Pacific Islands get nothing because the big nations never play there.
‘If each Samoa player got, say, £4,000, that would set them up for a year.
‘There are guys who work as tradesmen in Samoa in that team, some living beneath the poverty line, and with a lack of resources it’s a risk to their welfare to play teams like England.
‘For every Charles Piutau earning £1million there are a bunch of guys on the breadline.’
The Mail on Sunday understands Georgia’s players will earn £625 per Test, as well as a performancerelated bonus.
A World Rugby spokesman said: ‘Bilateral Test matches are arranged by the unions of the competing teams.
‘The details of any revenue share agreements would be agreed between them.
‘World Rugby invests heavily on an annual basis to support the development and performance of rugby unions in Oceania, in particular Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
‘An estimated £20m will be invested over the four-year cycle 2016-19 across those three unions.’
Ireland have played Samoa five times in autumn internationals, most recently in 2013. The visitors won 40-25 in 1996 but Ireland won the rest. Ireland have played once in Apia, winning 40-14 in 2003.