The Rugby Football Union has admitted talks with England players regarding the pay structure for their summer tour to Australia and New Zealand are still continuing.
It had been reported that a pay dispute is threatening to destabilise Martin Johnson’s five-match Southern Hemisphere trip in June, which includes two Tests against the Wallabies.
Rumours abound that players who feature in the match-day 22 for the Perth and Sydney Tests will receive a proposed £5,000 match fee, with a potential £1,500 win bonus on top of a basic tour fee of £7,800.
But those in the 44-man squad who play in the midweek games only – against the Australian Barbarians and New Zealand Maori – would reportedly not receive any bonuses on top of the flat tour fee.
An RFU spokesman said: “We have a clear pay structure laid out in our player agreement which runs through to 2011 and we are discussing with RPA (Rugby Players’ Association) how that applies to the summer tour.
“Those discussions are ongoing and there is a further meeting planned after Easter to finalise the details. It would not be appropriate to comment further on this private and confidential issue.”