PREMIER RUGBY STATEMENT:
Premier Rugby have decided to make a formal complaint to the IRB alleging a breach of international regulations by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) through their actions and statements this week.
These actions and statements have been repeatedly directed against Bath Rugby and Premier Rugby following our petty and vindictive decision to compel Bath Rugby to refuse permission to their player, Butch James, to take part in today's Wales v South Africa international, despite the fact that Bath's season finished over two weeks ago.
Premier Rugby and Bath Rugby have acted in accordance with the IRB's regulations. Rules is rules. The match is an extra one-off match outside the agreed international window and has been arranged primarily as a money-making exercise for which SARU is apparently receiving a large fee. We, on the other hand, have not been offered a farthing.
When arranging a match outside the international window, all Unions should be aware of their regulations concerning player release and need to realise that we will only give permission for players contracted to clubs affiliated to Premier Rugby to take part in such fixtures in exchange for a whopping big fee (we mean really, really enormous). The RFU, the Barbarians and other rugby organisations appear to understand this. This week it became clear that SARU obviously do not.
Here endeth the lesson.