World Cup will benefit clubs - Ritchie

Ian Ritchie
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie says clubs will benefit from England staging the 2015 World Cup
©Press Association

Responding to their demands for £14 million compensation, Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie says that Aviva Premiership clubs will benefit from the 2015 World Cup.

The clubs are seeking recompense due to the start of next season being pushed back to October due to the staging of the World Cup.

Ritchie does accept there will be some loss of business because of the later start to the season, he says there will be a positive impact as well.

"We understand there may be some losses, but we must also recognise there will be something that looks like an upside such as better attendances and more interest," Ritchie said.

"Inevitably there's a focus on compensation, but I look at it slightly the other way round in that the World Cup is a huge positive for club rugby.

"I believe it will be an economic success for the clubs.

"It's true there will be some immediate impact at the start of the competition, but I'd certainly hope there would be a considerable upturn interest in the sport.

"If the World Cup is half as successful as I think it will be, I think it be an economic success for rugby.

"We should not lose sight on the positive impact of 2015, not just the compensation."

And he added that both RFU and Premiership Rugby are keen to resolve the matter before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, England are intent on challenging the financial rewards that French clubs are able to offer as they bid to avoid an exodus of players following next year's World Cup.

Current RFU policy dictates that only players attached to English clubs can be selected for the national team unless there are exceptional circumstances, which Ritchie views as 'fundamental' to retain control of England internationals.

"We should be absolutely at the top of the pile here. We should help to try and achieve that and we should be unashamed of that," Ritchie said.


2015 Rugby World Cup - Points Table