English RFU agree eight-year deal with Premiership Rugby
Agreement will give England head coach Eddie Jones greater access to squad players
Coach Eddie Jones: has led England to a Grand Slam success and 3-0 Test series whitewash of Australia. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty
England’s aim of becoming the dominant force in the global game has been strengthened by a new agreement signed by the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby Limited.
The eight-year partnership between Twickenham and the Premiership clubs, worth over £200million, will give head coach Eddie Jones greater access to players, a later deadline for selection, two additional training camps and more rest periods for his Grand Slam winners.
The RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said: “This is a true partnership focused on making English rugby the best in the world for club and country.”
Negotiations over the new deal began two years ago and were interrupted by the stand-off over the structure of European club competition and last autumn’s World Cup, when Ritchie was forced to deal with the fallout of England’s group exit.
Ritchie’s key act was to appoint Jones as Stuart Lancaster’s replacement and that decision has been rewarded with a Grand Slam and last month’s 3-0 series whitewash of Australia.
Jones’ view on elements of the groundbreaking agreement helped shape its format. Ritchie said: “Eddie was heavily involved in all the situations around the deal and is very supportive. We feel we’ve got the balance right and Eddie is very happy with the access it gives him to players.”