6 Jan 2009

Super 14 players may be left off English club shopping lists

2:06 pm on 6 January 2009

The luring of Super 14 rugby players to the English Premiership could be on the decline if plans to reduce the size of a club's squad and salary cap come into force.

A report in the London Sunday Telegraph says Premier Rugby, the umbrella body for England's leading 12 clubs, will meet later this month to discuss the changes.

One suggestion is to limit the size of Premiership squads to between 35 to 40 players, with 38 the number most likely to win approval.

Clubs such as Bath, Harlequins, Bristol and Newcastle have to ditch at least six players.

Last month Premier Rugby agreed a new television deal which will see it paid over $120 million over three years.

However, there are concerns about how the Premiership will get through the economic difficulties caused by the worldwide credit crunch before the new television deal kicks-in.

Newcastle and Bristol, both struggling at the foot of the Premiership table are known to have financial problems leading to speculation that England's top division may be reduced to 10 clubs.