Premiership Rugby Release Important British & Irish Lions Statement Following Dispute
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Premiership Rugby has today confirmed that an agreement has been reached for the release of all players at the conclusion of their domestic commitments for the British and Irish Lions’ warm-up game against Japan.
They will also be available for any training camp ahead of that fixture.
The Lions warm-up match against Japan falls outside of the World Rugby Regulation 9 window for release of players for international rugby, which is in breach of what was agreed in San Francisco in 2017.
The Japan game also clashes with the highlight of their season, the Premiership Final.
“We know how much the Lions Tour means to rugby fans and players and we wish the Lions every success. We are sure our players will make a huge contribution,” a Premiership Rugby statement said.
“Throughout the negotiations, Premiership Rugby has sought a solution that works for everyone – the players, the clubs and the Lions.
“This discussion was never just about money. Premiership clubs are at the very heart of English rugby – helping to nurture the pipeline of talent which supports the international game and future Lions Tours. It is essential that we are properly consulted – and our position respected – when fixtures are scheduled which impact the domestic season.
“For future Lions tours, Premiership Rugby will not release players until after the Premiership Final. We will continue to honour our commitments around player-release, under Regulation 9, and encourage all parties in rugby to work more closely to avoid situations like this happening in the future.”