French clubs against Laporte central contracts idea
NEWS: France's top flight clubs reiterated their opposition on Tuesday to federation President Bernard Laporte's plan to introduce dual contracts.
Former national team coach Laporte wants French international players to sign central contracts which would allow the FFR to control the number of games they play for their clubs.
The federation would pay half their salaries to compensate for their reduced availability to top flight clubs.
But 12 of the 14 teams in the top flight stated in a joint statement with the French Rugby League (LNR), which organises the Top 14 competition, that they "reiterated their total opposition to the principle" of federation contracts.
Only Toulon and Bayonne did not sign the document.
The statement described the project as "totally unnecessary in the quest to optimise the conditions of preparation for the France rugby team" and said it would "disorganise professional French rugby".
Such central contracts already exist in New Zealand, Ireland and Wales, whose federations can control the number of club games its international stars play, in order to keep them fresh for test matches.
Laporte wants to have 40 players signed up to central contracts and believes he can fund it by organising an extra test match per year.