Bishop & Sewell

If, like me you’ve been counting down the weeks to the start of the Rugby World Cup, we don’t have long to wait as it starts today: 8 September, writes David Little, a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.

Having just sat through 25 days of Ashes cricket we now have a feast of international rugby matches to enjoy all the way up to the final on 28 October.

The French have been waiting to host this World Cup for four years. I was interested to learn how much players selected for the matches will earn. Curiously the prize money for this world cup has yet to be announced. Perhaps the prize pool will depend on the total number of tickets sold for the whole tournament?

The total prize pool for the 2019 World Cup was £15 million.

How much each player will receive is also a burning issue. The Pacific Players Association has helped broker a daily allowance increase for the Fijians team, the poorest team, achieved against the backdrop of ongoing financial problems for the Fijian Rugby Union.

According to a report in Rugby Pass there has now been an assurance from the Fiji Rugby Union special administrator Simione Valenitabua that allowances and bonuses are ring fenced for the men’s squad with a reported increase in the daily payment to each player from US$300 to US$500 (approximately £250 per day).

If ever a team of players needed a good run in the tournament to make the kind of money that professional sportsmen and women earn in the northern hemisphere, it was Fiji.

Here are how the twenty nations line up, initially in the tournament:

Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay & Namibia

Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga & Romania

Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia & Portugal

Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa & Chile

I for one hope Fiji manages to get out of pool C and proceed deep into the tournament. Just not at the expense of Wales.


Contact our Sports Solicitor

David Little, is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team and also Head of Sports Law for the firm. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB420 on either 07968 027343 or 020 7631 4141 or email

The above is accurate as at 07 September 2023. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 8th Sep 2023

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