RFU gives helping hand to struggling Samoa

by AAP

The Rugby Football Union will make a goodwill payment of GBP 75,000 ($A147,000) to the Samoan Rugby Union after the association was declared bankrupt ahead of internationals against Scotland and England.

Scotland are set to host the Pacific Islanders on Saturday before Samoa face England at Twickenham on November 25.

Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also chairman of the SRU, told the Samoa Observer that the governing body was "insolvent", with the union unable to "pay off our debts with the banks" or fund player wages.

Last year the RFU offered Fiji  GBP75,000 as a "goodwill gesture" ahead of the Test at Twickenham, with match revenues said to generate some GBP 10million.(17 million AUD)

Mako Vunipola isn't out for revenge. Photo: Getty ImagesPress Association Sport understands the RFU are set to make a similar payment to the Samoan Rugby Union, who wrote to their hosts detailing the issues of their dispute with global governing body World Rugby over on-going funding issues and their national administration.

England players are said to be due match fees in the region of GBP 22,000 (37,575 AUD), while the Samoa squad would be only some GBP 650 (1100 AUD).

Currently there is no regulation for host nations to share matchday revenues.

However, England internationals prop Mako Vunipola and centre Manu Tuilagi, who were born in Tonga and Samoa respectively, have urged teammates to make a gesture of their own by giving some of their match fee to their Pacific Island opponents.

Meanwhile, Press Association Sport understands that the Scottish Rugby Union will cover the costs of Samoa during their time in Scotland under a long-standing agreement, and no talks have taken place over additional financial support.