Best angered by wage-caps

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The Independent Online

The London Irish rugby director, Dick Best, has pointed the finger at rival Premiership clubs for exceeding the £1.8m wage-cap structure in a bid to gain an illegal advantage over fellow title chasers.

The London Irish rugby director, Dick Best, has pointed the finger at rival Premiership clubs for exceeding the £1.8m wage-cap structure in a bid to gain an illegal advantage over fellow title chasers.

Best, who has completely revamped his squad bringing in 18 new faces over the summer, highlighted the difficulties he faced attracting new talent with such little money on offer to use as a bargaining tool.

"On the budget I had available, I struggled to sign 30 players whereas other clubs such as Bristol had nearly 50 on their staff last year," Best said. "Maybe the cost of living in London has increased so much that wages have soared."

The former England coach defended the lack of Irish talent that will be on display at the Madejski Stadium. "The Irish RFU have spent the last couple of seasons tempting their best players to return home," Best said. "It is impossible for a club like ourselves, which is operating within a wage structure, to compete against an international body."

Bristol's player-coach, Dean Ryan, could be banned for the start of the new season after being sent off for receiving two yellow cards in a friendly match against Caerphilly.

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