7 Nov 2012

Sport: French club accused of paying Fiji players to skip Rugby World Cup

11:13 am on 7 November 2012

There are allegations that players from around the Pacific were paid not to represent their countries at the last year's Rugby World Cup.

The British newspaper, The Independent, reports claims that three Fijian players were offered financial inducements not to take part in the World Cup.

Other clubs are understood to have tried to dissuade Pacific Islanders from turning out for their country.

The paper reports a former All Black and coach of French Club, Racing Metro, Simon Mannix, as saying that Fijians at his club were paid to make themselves unavailable for the 2011 World Cup in order to play in the French Top 14.

The newspaper says players Sireli Bobo, Jone Qovu and Josh Matavesi were paid not to play for the Flying Fijians.

The Racing Metro president, Jacky Lorenzetti, denied the club have made any illegal payments or broken any regulations.

The Fiji Rugby Union declined to comment.