England’s players have agreed a temporary cut of £5,750 to their match fee in response to the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19, the PA news agency understands.
Reduced from £23,000 to £17,250, the payment accounts for appearances, training and image rights as part of a new year-long arrangement with the Rugby Football Union.
Even allowing for the new lower match fee, England internationals will remain the highest paid in the sport and the figure will be renegotiated next year once the financial implications of coronavirus become clearer.
It will take effect from October when Eddie Jones’ men play their first meaningful game since March by travelling to Rome to face Italy, completing their 2020 Six Nations.
The Azzurri clash had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic but all Championship matches are due to be completed before the autumn campaigns begin in November.
COVID-19 is forcing the RFU to make around a quarter of its workforce redundant amid projections that it will lose £107million in a downturn lasting five years.
All levels at Twickenham are facing cuts, including Jones who has agreed to a 25 per cent salary reduction during the crisis and is having to work with a reduced budget.