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English Premiership confirms salary cap changes ahead of Rugby World Cup

Premiership Rugby, the organising body of the top division of English rugby union, has today (Wednesday) confirmed that the salary cap for the club competition is to be increased.

From the 2015-16 season, each of the league’s clubs will have a base salary cap of £5.1m (€6.4m/$8.2m) as well as £400,000 in home grown player credits. Such credits will apply to players that have joined a club’s academy before their 18th birthday and have been with the club for more than two years.

In addition, Premiership clubs have also voted to add a second player excluded from the salary cap to their squads. While the first player can be nominated from a club’s current squad, the second player must be new to the Premiership in the 2015-16 season and must not have played in the competition for at least 12 months.

Under current regulations, teams have a salary cap of £5m, which comprises a basic cap of £4.76m and an additional £240,000 in academy credits. Clubs are currently also only able to have one marquee signing whose wages do not count towards the team’s total salary cap.

Mark McCafferty, chief executive of Premiership Rugby, said the league has been able to increase the salary cap after a growth in revenue in recent seasons. “The level of the salary cap is linked to central revenues which have increased significantly in recent years, as a result of new broadcast partner in BT Sport, new European revenues and the recent contract signed with our title sponsor, Aviva,” McCafferty said.

“This increase in central revenues has allowed us to increase the salary cap and further help our clubs compete in both the new European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup.”

McCafferty also said that the increased salary cap will help keep English talent in the country and boost clubs’ youth systems as the country prepares to host the Rugby World Cup next year. “We are delighted to confirm the number of England qualified players in Aviva Premiership Rugby has passed 70 per cent for the first time and we want to drive the numbers even higher,” McCafferty said.

“The increase in the base level of the salary cap will help our clubs to retain English talent. Also the introduction of home grown player credits helps the enviable production line that has been established from our academies to our Premiership squads and on to England.”

McCafferty added: “England and their clubs are getting stronger because of our commitment to the development of world class England players in Premiership Rugby; the most competitive league in the world. It is an essential part of our league and the strength of our system.”