10 November, 2017, 12:00 am
SAMOA’s Test matches against Scotland and England this month are not under threat despite the Samoa Rugby Union’s reported financial problems, governing body World Rugby said.
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao, who is also chairman of the SRU, told the Samoa Observer that the country’s governing body was “insolvent,” with the union unable to “pay off our debts with the banks” or fund player wages.
He also said the SRU had no money to pay for its players’ insurance.
World Rugby said it covered all the players’ insurance costs and underwrites the cost of preparation camps and flights as part of its investment of 1.5 million pounds ($F4m) in the SRU’s high-performance program for 2017.
Samoa will play Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday and England at Twickenham on November 26.
World Rugby said the host unions were covering Samoa’s logistical costs on the ground.
England’s Rugby Football Union is reportedly making a goodwill payment of 75,000 pounds ($F204,000) to the SRU, which would help to pay for the Samoa players’ match fees.
Last year, the RFU offered Fiji the same figure as a “goodwill gesture” ahead of a Test at Twickenham, with match revenues generating about 10 million pounds ($F27.2).