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Volume 6 No. 266
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England Rugby Will Open War Chest To Compete With New Zealand

England will have "unprecedented financial support" in its efforts to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with a "war chest" the All Blacks will "look at with envy," according to Gavin Mairs of the London TELEGRAPH. The Rugby Football Union told head coach Eddie Jones "it will spend what it takes to ensure his campaign is successful." A "record war chest" of more than £120M ($161.6M) will be invested in the professional game over the next two years and the RFU has given the green light to the "detailed and comprehensive plans" of Jones for the "build-up to the tournament in Japan." Expenditure on professional rugby in England soared last year by more than 50% from '15 to a record £63.7M. By "way of comparison," New Zealand Rugby spent NZ$48.5M on its professional teams last year, "of which the All Blacks would have taken a sizeable majority." England's player payments last season "soared" by 30%, "taking their combined total" to more than £5.5M -- up £1.2M from the previous season (TELEGRAPH, 12/6).