SRU to stand firm on exiles' contracts

Rugby Union
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The Independent Online
Scottish Rugby Union officials are refusing to bow to pressure from players based outside Scotland, who want an increase in the amount of money on offer from contracts.

The leading 44 home-based Scotland players were offered full-time contracts by the SRU at the end of last week. It is understood that the amounts of money on offer are on a three-tier scale with the top players on pounds 50,000, the middle group earning pounds 30,000 and the third level receiving pounds 20,000. Twelve Scottish exiles were simultaneously offered a different contract worth much less financially.

The SRU contracts negotiator, Ken Crichton, said: "We are offering contracts to players on the basis of them becoming employees of the Scottish Rugby Union. That means that, as in any other occupation, employees would be expected to turn up, in this case at Murrayfield, five days a week. It involves training and coaching sessions at Murrayfield in addition to promotional work. These players will be released to play for their clubs in approved games. At the moment these 'approved' games are league and cup matches.

"Clearly the exile players could not fulfil such a contract of employment and that is the real reason that we are offering them different contracts."