Clubs boycott meeting at Twickenham

Rugby Union

STEVE BALE

England's 20 First and Second Division clubs yesterday boycotted a meeting at Twickenham of the leading 40 called by the Rugby Football Union for yet more of their interminable discussions about what is to become of the top end of the professional game.

Progress was therefore impossible, though Cliff Brittle, chairman of the RFU executive, told those who did attend: "The soul of rugby is not for sale." Brittle also acknowledged that money was the key to the debate.

With the main area for new money being television, Tony Hallett, the RFU secretary, asserted that TV companies would deal only with unions rather than groupings such as English Professional Clubs Ltd in accordance with International Board requirements.

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