Rugby Union: Catt to avoid pay penalty

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MIKE CATT will avoid punishment from the Rugby Football Union after revealing that he was paid for playing in his native South Africa.

Dudley Wood, the RFU secretary, said that no action would be taken against Catt, but he expects the International Board to look at the system of payments he believes is rife in South Africa.

'Even if we had any factual information from Catt, we would not persecute a player for what happened under the jurisdiction of another union,' Wood said. 'I imagine it will be raised at this week's interim meeting of the Board in Vancouver, but it is a worry if this has been going on in South Africa. In the first place it was probably born of their isolation.'

Catt, the Bath midfield player, came to England a couple of seasons ago, winning one cap as a replacement in last season's match against Wales at Twickenham.

In a Sunday newspaper, he said: 'I was paid pounds 200 per match cash in hand by Eastern Province before each game. I played for a club in Port Elizabeth and received a lump sum of pounds 2,300 at the beginning of the season.'

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