0 3 mins 5 mths

Talks between the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby are reported to be at an advanced stage.

Such an arrangement could allow England coaches more control over the national team’s top players and may help prevent talent moving to clubs overseas.

“England needs to have the best players playing in England,” said Care, 36.

“If there are ways we can do that, which might help the club game and help clubs be more sustainable, I think the players would be on board with that.”

Financial problems in English club rugby have come to the fore in recent months.

Premiership trio Worcester Warriors, Wasps and London Irish all went out of business last season, while Championship club Jersey Reds announced last week they had “ceased trading” and that liquidation was “inevitable” unless further funding could be found.

In addition, some members of England’s Rugby World Cup squad, including Jack Willis, Joe Marchant and Henry Arundell, will be playing for French clubs once the tournament concludes.

‘Hopefully they get it right and game can flourish’

Care said England coach Steve Borthwick has been working “behind the scenes” to ensure clubs and the national team work together in deciding the best path for players in areas such as conditioning and development.

Other nations, such as Ireland, have formal systems in place which allow them to control their players’ domestic workloads.

Harlequins scrum-half Care added: “Now with the club game going down to 10 teams there automatically is going to be less games for the lads.

“I’ve always pushed and been an advocate for Premiership games to not be played during Six Nations windows. I think fans, clubs, everyone wants that.

“You want to see your best players playing, clubs want to have the best players available, which helps everything in terms of TV revenues and fans coming to stadiums.

“They want to see Owen Farrell playing for Saracens as many times as he can. So [if] there’s ways and structures around to do that, then [I’m] all for it.

“I think I’ve said a few times here, there are a lot of cleverer and smarter people than me who hopefully are working on these decisions – hopefully they get it right and the game, especially in England, can flourish.”

Hear more from Care about the possible introduction of hybrid contracts on Wednesday’s episode of the Rugby Union Daily podcast on BBC Sounds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *