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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

England Expects to Remain One of Five Nations

LONDON -- Rugby Football Union president John Richardson has announced he was seeking urgent talks to prevent England from being thrown out of the Five Nations championship.


There was no indication of the Five Nations decision to expel England at the RFU's annual general meeting in London on Friday, when Richardson was elected and optimism was expressed that a solution would be found to the problem.


In a statement issued by Richardson, the RFU said: "It has been suggested that the RFU officers were aware of the decision of the Five Nations Committee to expel England prior to the AGM.


"This is not the case. The president of the RFU, John Richardson, confirmed that the RFU had not received notification of any such decision.


"We understand that Wales kept Scotland and Ireland informed of the meeting. At the end of that meeting, it was agreed that a way forward existed and it was resolved to meet again this week."


The statement was agreed by other RFU officials, including executive committee chairman Cliff Brittle who has stated that he was opposed to the Sky TV deal, which England negotiated on their own and which sparked the disagreement with the other countries.


The simmering conflict broke Saturday when former Ireland captain Tom Kiernan, the chairman of the Five Nations Committee, and other Irish, Scots and Welsh officials believed that England had disregarded their request to put their imminent exit from the Five Nations in front of the AGM.


The move to expel England was agreed and will be activated in February when England are scheduled to play their first fixture in the 1997 Five Nations.


England's income from Sky is due to be $135.9 million. Wales has been offered $62.1 million, Scotland $31 million and Ireland $28 million.