England's Genge wants to 'shake up' rugby with new players' union
England prop Ellis Genge is aiming to set up a new players' union to "shake up the rugby scene" because he is dissatisfied with the way the issue of pay cuts was been handled during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 25-year-old Leicester star says he does not wish to replace the Rugby Players' Association but he believes the organisation is too closely tied to the Rugby Football Union. The RPA receives funding from the RFU and Premiership Rugby.
Genge told the BBC's Rugby Union Weekly podcast that he was in talks with interested parties over financing, although he was also seeking funding from players.
He said the RPA was "always going to lean in favour" of the RFU or Premiership Rugby, which he said was understandable.
"I am not trying to go against owners of clubs, or the RFU or the RPA. I think we can all work in tandem," he said.
"But I do think it is time to shake up the rugby scene, and look after players -- commercially, and in every aspect -- a lot better."
Genge, along with teammate Greg Bateman, sought legal advice after being asked to take a 25 percent pay cut by Leicester, before being placed on the British government's furlough scheme.
Genge said the issue had now been resolved but that seeking external advice had been the right decision.
"We are not making a new RPA," he said. "I think they do really good stuff with welfare in rugby and they look after people really well.
"But I do feel that people were poorly advised (over the pay cuts). People were advised from the off to sign the contracts without reading them, almost."
RPA chief executive Damian Hopley told the Daily Telegraph the union had helped players as much as possible during the discussions over pay cuts but said all parties would admit the situation could have been handled differently.
© 2020 AFP