London - England's hopes of dominating world rugby under Eddie Jones were given a boost on Monday with a new eight-year agreement between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL).
English clubs will take $2.6m per year -
double the amount compared to the previous eight-year agreement - from the
200million sum agreed between the two parties.
In return, England coach Jones will gain
greater access to players, who will also be rested more often by their club
"This is a true partnership focussed
on making English rugby the best in the world for club and country," said
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie.
Ritchie, who had to put off the
two-year-old talks when he had to deal with England's first-round exit from
last year's World Cup, said Jones had highlighted areas he felt he needed to be
"We feel we've got the balance right
and Eddie is very happy with the access it gives him to players," said
Jones, who led England to a historic 3-0 series whitewash of World Cup finalists Australia after also winning the Six Nations Grand Slam, will now be able to select 45 players instead of 33 for the England Elite Player Squad (EPS), with up to 36 players able to be selected for training camps.
Jones will also be able to select his
squads later than before.
The additional training camps will take
place in early October ahead of the autumn internationals and in January during
the build-up to the Six Nations.
The clubs will also rest players from the
England squad who play above a certain amount of minutes in the November Tests
and during the Six Nations.
Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of
PRL, said Jones - who guided Australia to the 2003 World Cup final when they
lost to England - had explained his case very clearly.
"Eddie has come to meet with our board
on a couple of occasions to explain his view of the English game and where he
was hoping to take it," said McCafferty.
"One of the things he explained very
clearly having worked all over the world was that we have the best set-up in
the world in terms of facilities, back-up and support.
"But he also explained his frustration that because of that, and with the player base we have, that we need to be more successful at club and international level."