PRPW director Dan Leo has shared a letter sent to the unions of England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France in which he suggested a “revitalised profit-share model” whereby a 10 per cent share of the profit generated by tier one nations hosting tier two nations is shared.
Currently, the home side keeps 100 per cent of the profits, but it is said on the PRPW website that “just 10 per cent of the profits from a sell-out England match at Twickenham could help a Pacific Islands nation run their international set-up for three years”.
Leo also wrote of the pressures that the Pacific Islands nations are under such as “player drain, the lack of any viable professional pathway, the reliance on government funding, and issues of depression/suicide resulting from players having to leave home”.
The former Samoan international said that these issues would be alleviated with more funding, as well as strengthening the teams and increasing competition in the international game.
Leo’s idea has been widely supported by many people on Twitter, who equally feel that the wealthier nations should be doing more to help those that are struggling. Of course, it is hard to know the intricacies of such a proposal, but in theory, this is something that fans from all over the world seem to support.
Only this past autumn, Fiji faced Scotland and France, historically beating the French, and Tonga faced Wales. The Scotland versus Fijigame at Murrayfield was a sell-out and any share of that has been shown to be hugely beneficial to tier two nations.
The player drain and financial troubles of the Pacific Islands nations has been an issue for many years, and the vast majority of the rugby world would want to see those teams helped to play to their potential.
That is why an idea like this is proving to be so popular already for many.
The RFU donated £75,000 to Samoa after the Test at Twickenham in 2017 as the players shared their match fees, and this is one of the goodwill donations that Leo wrote of in his letter. He said they made a “huge difference for the receiving unions” and it is understandable why an official and a more consistent system like that should be set up.
Already this year, tier two nations have been able to fend off the threat of the proposed Nations League which they felt would be hugely detrimental to the Pacific Islands teams and now this proposal is about taking a positive step.
In order for the game to grow, those nations that may be struggling financially cannot be ignored and this could be a step in the right direction.