England ‘To Play Extra International in 2016’

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England will reportedly play an extra international match in 2016 as part of the RFU’s £13 million World Cup compensation package with Premiership Rugby.

According to The Times, May’s traditional Barbarians match will be “upgraded” with England taking on full international opposition at Twickenham.

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The fixture is described in the agreement as “a game to celebrate the completion of World Cup year.”

The change means England will now play 13 matches in 2016, with Wales and Ireland up at home in the Six Nations along with three internationals on the summer tour to Australia and four autumn fixtures.

Should the additional fixture remain on the final weekend of May, players involved in the Aviva Premiership final would be ruled out, however, The Times report that England would still be able to field a full-strength side against the Wallabies.

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As part of the agreement, Premiership Rugby will also be given the opportunity to stage an international club fixture at Twickenham this season or next, clearing a path to the long-mooted idea of pitching the best from Europe against the Super Rugby elite.

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