Aviva Premiership Rugby salary cap to rise to £7m but still trails France's Top 14

 
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Premiership rugby salary cap
Premiership clubs will be permitted to spend more on their squads (Source: Getty)

Premiership Rugby clubs have had their salary cap shackles loosened in order to "drive the next phase of growth in English club and international rugby".

Clubs' limit on wage spending will be lifted by £1m to £6.5m next season and £7m in 2017/18, bringing the Premiership closer to the spending power enjoyed by French clubs, which are currently capped at £8.6m.

And clubs' spending power will also be significantly boosted in a series of other ways, even if they will remain restricted to two excluded players from salary cap calculations per team.

Read more: Salary cap rise on agenda after £280m TV deal

The Premiership is boosting the home grown credit available to clubs for first team players produced from its own academy from £400,000 to £500,000, while teams will be allowed to spend an extra £80,000 on its wage bill per player called up for international duty.

For example Bath, who provided five players to England's Rugby World Cup squad, would receive £400,000 under the new rules, only £100,000 less than Sam Burgess - the league's highest paid player - earns in a year.

Premiership Rugby's chief executive Mark McCafferty said:

The financial performance of Premiership Rugby and its Clubs, including new commercial contracts with key partners, has helped facilitate plans for the further strengthening of playing squads, including the continued investment in the growth of English talent. This investment is intended to help drive the next phase of growth in English club and international rugby.

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