Samoans play­ing for peanuts at Twick­ers EX­CLU­SIVE

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - THE TITLE - By Nik Si­mon

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.

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