O'Shea backs salary cap increase

Date published: September 16 2014

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Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea has backed a new salary cap increase to help English clubs keep up with their French rivals.

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea has backed a new salary cap increase to help English clubs keep up with their French rivals.

Premiership clubs are expected to ratify a £500,000 increase in the salary cap for next season, while also allowing club's to nominate a second marquee player who's salary does not count towards the cap.

The move comes as English teams have struggled to compete in Europe in recent seasons, with Wasps the last English team to win the Heineken Cup, seven years ago.

One of the benefits of the cap has been an increase in the number of English players in the Premiership, with O'Shea and Quins one of the most prominent examples of teams investing in youth.

However Harlequins were knocked out in the group stages of the Heineken Cup in each of the last two seasons, and O'Shea believes the changes are vital to keep English players in the Premiership.

“I think there is little alternative really, and there are some important changes,” O'Shea told Sporting Life.

“Wages are accelerating all the time in France and Japan, and we want to keep home grown players at home for as long as possible.

“These cap increases, yes they will allow us to improve squads but they also won't give you too much leeway to make huge amendments to your squad.

“Hopefully it will allow us just to keep competitive the whole time, retain what you've got and develop the young English players that don't stay for free.”

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