The Samoan Rugby Union has been declared bankrupt ahead of this Saturday’s autumn Test international against Scotland at BT Murrayfield.
Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao, who is also chairman of the SRU, told the Samoa Observer that the governing body was “insolvent”, with the union unable to “pay off our debts with the banks” or fund player wages.
It is understood that the Scottish Rugby Union will cover the costs of Samoa during their time in Scotland under a long-standing agreement, and no talks have taken place over additional financial support.
The Rugby Football Union will make a goodwill payment of £75,000 ahead of the scheduled match between Samoa and England at Twickenham on November 25.
Last year the RFU offered Fiji £75,000 as a “goodwill gesture” ahead of the Test at Twickenham, with match revenues said to generate some £10million.
It is understood the RFU are set to make a similar payment to the Samoan Rugby Union, who wrote to their hosts detailing the issues of their dispute with global governing body World Rugby over on-going funding issues and their national administration.
England players are said to be due match fees in the region of £22,000, while the Samoa squad would be only some £650.
Currently there is no regulation for host nations to share matchday revenues.
However, England internationals prop Mako Vunipola and centre Manu Tuilagi, who were born in Tonga and Samoa respectively, have urged team-mates to make a gesture of their own by giving some of their match fee to their Pacific Island opponents.
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