Higher England match fees could stop player exodus, claims Baxter

Higher England match fees could stop player exodus, claims Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter… but he says Montpellier-bound No 8 Sam Simmonds leaves with the club’s blessing

  • England No 8 Sam Simmonds is joining French side Montpellier
  • Saracens boss Mark McCall said the move was ‘worrying’ for the Premiership
  • Director of rugby Baxter said Simmonds was moving on with Exeter’s blessing 

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter has suggested an increase in match fees for England players could reduce the risk of them being lost to France or Japan.

Baxter was speaking after confirmation his team’s England No 8 Sam Simmonds is joining French side Montpellier for the start of next season.

Saracens boss Mark McCall said Simmonds’ move was ‘worrying’ for the Gallagher Premiership.

Exeter and England No 8 Sam Simmonds is joining French side Montpellier next season

Baxter said his player was moving on with Exeter’s blessing but said looking at how much the country’s international stars get paid could be one way to ensure more don’t follow in Simmonds’ footsteps.

England’s male players receive a £25,000 fee each time they play a Test.

‘There is another argument that if England paid them more per game, that’s another way of bridging the gap. Players add up the whole package,’ Baxter said. 

Director of rugby Rob Baxter said Simmonds was moving on with Exeter’s blessing

‘That will cause some debate because England players are pretty well paid compared to some other nations.’

Three England players who are staying put are Freddie Steward, Jack van Poortvliet and George Martin who have all agreed new Leicester deals.

Steward has quickly become England’s first-choice full-back while scrum-half Van Poortvliet had a breakout tour of Australia in July.

England’s Red Roses, currently in New Zealand ahead of their World Cup bid, have confirmed they will host France at Twickenham in a standalone fixture at the end of next season’s Women’s Six Nations.




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