Bath Rugby Owner Bruce Craig Says Sport's Riches Must Not Hurt England
Premiership rugby side Bath Rugby Owner Bruce Craig said that "rugby union in England must not follow the football model, regardless of how much money comes into the game," according to Chris Jones of the BBC. Craig "is adamant they must continue to provide a wealth of home-grown players to serve the national side." Craig said, "One of the fundamental things in English rugby today is to make sure we have a very strong England national team as well as a very strong club culture." The high number of foreign players in football's Premier League "is perceived by some to have had a detrimental impact on the England team." Craig: "A huge amount of international players are coming into English football and you have repercussions. Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal -- they are all fabulous clubs, but they are almost international teams." In the Aviva Premiership, "clubs must average 15 England-qualified players" -- through birth, ancestry or residency -- in their match-day squad of 23 in order to continue to receive payments from the Rugby Football Union (BBC, 9/3).