England forwards coach Steve Borthwick has confirmed Eddie Jones' squad will not donate part of their match fee to the Samoan Rugby Union (SRU) after their clash at Twickenham this weekend.
The SRU declared itself bankrupt ahead of their November internationals in the northern hemisphere, leading to chairman Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi issuing a fundraising plea to keep the governing body going.
World Rugby increased its funding in Pacific Islands teams as a result – Samoa receiving a 19 per cent rise in investment along with Tonga and Fiji.
However, rugby's governing body subsequently questioned the accuracy of the SRU's claims and said the Samoans were not bankrupt.
As the uncertainty around the situation continues, England's players have decided against handing over a percentage of their fee following Saturday's match.
"I know the players had a meeting and have also consulted with the RFU about this matter," Borthwick told Sky Sports.
"What's been decided is that it's a complex issue. I know the RFU has made a goodwill payment to the Samoan Rugby Union but really this is a pretty complex issue between the Samoan Rugby Union and World Rugby.
"As players, and myself as a coach, it's not in our realm, we're concentrating on playing this game and preparing for this game. Those matters need to be dealt with by World Rugby."
When asked if they will donate money, he added: "No, not at this point, the players have decided the right thing to do is to ensure they stay out of it, it is a complicated situation and the players have decided they should stay out of that."
Bath lock Charlie Ewels added: "The senior player group that met, everyone had chance to say they part, they came together and decided it is not really the players place to step into the politics of it all.
"As a playing group we've just sort of said we can't let these sort of things distract us, we've got to be selfish with the rugby and selfish with our preparations for this Test."
23. März 2018
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