What happened to pride!
Today it has been reported that the Italian Rugby Team has gone on strike. Honestly. No seriously. I might have thought that of the French team they are notorious within Rugby in uniting against the team head structure.
The Italians, it is alleged, want a match by match bonus. When you look at their pool which includes Rugby Powerhouses Ireland and France, you can understand that they are unlikely to progress past the pool games. The Italian union want to issue a performance related payment on their overall performance and not by a game by game basis. Further to the 'strike' the team refuse to wear the FIR kit until economic agreements are in place. I can understand that if your profession is to play Rugby you should receive a salary for playing. Especially in the professional era, but what ever happened to it being a 'great honour' to wear your country's jersey? Irregardless of how far in the tournament a team gets fair recompense should be made. That also said England are reportedly being offered £100,000 if they win the RWC. For every player in the 23 man squad they are reportedly to be awarded £15,000. This mean the likes of Chris Robshaw could net £205,000. The Azzuri are a great team to watch, the Sergio Parrise influence will be be a big deal for them. The FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi has said that the offer is fair and is similar to that of the other national teams in the region of their international rankings. The French Top 14 is now world renowned for huge salaries for the club players. It seems that the French Union has followed suit offering them nearly double that of their English counterparts.
Now don't get me wrong, come game day I am sure that the win is more important and making sure your 22 mates pat you on the back saying well done will mean more to them than cash. Jonny Wilkinson has said "Its a job and you have to make money from it, but no one gets carried away with that. If you said to these players 'you can have that (bonus) but you can't be in the World Cup Squad', see how many would take it, and it wouldn't be any. "
Greedy Rugby Players and Silly Unions are giving our game a bad name. Just keep your childish spats internal and get on with developing the game.