Rugby World Cup 2015: Clubs agree RFU compensation deal

RFU Premiership clubs

Premiership clubs have ended their World Cup dispute with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) by agreeing a compensation package worth around £13m.

Clubs were demanding compensation because of the disruption caused by the 2015 World Cup in England.

The 2015-16 season will now start on 17 October after the International Rugby Board allowed club games to be staged during the tournament.

"We've come to an arrangement," said RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie.

Some club owners threatened to flout IRB regulations by playing throughout the entire World Cup if their demands were not met, but a complex agreement has now been reached which allows clubs to play during the knockout phase of the tournament.

As part of the settlement, England coach Stuart Lancaster will name his next elite player squad on 22 October, delayed from its traditional slot in August.

The additional time enables Lancaster to select players who are in form for November's QBE Internationals against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.

Rugby World Cup 2015 venues
Twickenham, LondonVilla Park, Birmingham
Millennium Stadium, CardiffLeicester City Stadium
Wembley Stadium, LondonElland Road, Leeds
Kingsholm, GloucesterSandy Park, Exeter
Olympic Park, LondonManchester City Stadium
Stadium MK, Milton KeynesSt James' Park, Newcastle
Brighton Community Stadium

The agreement is made up of two parts with £6m generated by the reallocation of match revenues that will increase income for both union and clubs.

A further £7m will also be paid to compensate for the absence of Premiership rugby during the group stage of the World Cup.

That will only be paid in full if World Cup ticket sales and gross profit targets are met and on the signature of a new agreement that covers areas such as player release and season structure.

"By the very nature of the deal, the more successful the RFU is, the more the clubs benefit, while it is good that Premiership Rugby continues to use Twickenham to develop their competition," said Ritchie.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty added: "We have resolved a challenging issue in a mutually beneficial way through productive discussions over the last few months, largely behind the scenes,"