STAR LETTER How can clubs compete with colleges?
In the 2018-19 season the RFU is introducing a salary cap for National One squads. In light of the recent promotion of Hartpury College from National One to the Championship, this raises an interesting conundrum for the RFU.
How will the ‘ordinary’ rugby club be able to compete with a college or university squad with immense resources like state-of-the-art playing and training facilities, sports psychologists, and strength & conditioning coaches. An ‘ordinary’ club has to buy this expertise in, to pay wages and expenses.
How will the RFU level the playing field or will we find that the second and third tiers of English rugby are gradually taken over by college sides? The rise of Hartpury College, progressing through the entire season in National One undefeated, raises the spectre of a ‘professional’ squad playing amateurs. Richard Barnard, Derby
The RFU says: The policy is in response to concerns across the game around club sustainability and the need to encourage a balance between money spent on players and investment in facilities. There are no strict spending caps; clubs can pay players what they feel is appropriate. However, if clubs go above a set figure they will not receive certain RFU revenue streams.
Ups and downs Braintree enjoyed a great season but will colleges soon overtake grass-roots clubs?