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Kevin Maggs urges RFU to make Tier Two level playing field

Greene King IPA Championship

Moseley boss Kevin Maggs has urged the RFU to have another look at Championship funding to ensure a more level competition.

Maggs believes a greater cash injection into the second tier of English rugby will further improve the production line of talent through the Premiership to the national team.

The new five-year agreement between the Union and the clubs is approaching the end of its first season but the 70-cap former Ireland centre claimed: “It needs to be funded properly.”

Maggs, director of rugby at Moseley – current favourites for relegation from the Championship – insists that the level of financial support from the governing body is insufficient to enable all clubs to operate full-time squads.

He is one of those who has struggled to compete with moneybags leaders Bristol and the other full-time clubs as he operates with a squad comprising a mixture of full-time and part-time players.

“A lot of people don’t appreciate how difficult the Championship is and the standard of it,” said Maggs, who is in his fifth season in charge at Billesley Common.

“We’ve only won a few games but the standard has improved year on year since I’ve been involved in it.

“Access to the players is a big problem for me.  Some of our lads are full-time but a lot of them have jobs. It’s tough having only limited access.

“The full-timers do conditioning, skills and stuff in the day but we can only work on team things in the evenings.

“It’s getting harder and harder and they need to make it fully professional and fund it properly because at the end of the day it’s good for the Premiership – and the England team.

“It’s easy if you’ve got the money. Obviously, it’s not all about money by any means but it helps in professional sport with the infrastructure, the staff and ultimately the players.”

The new deal increased the annual grants to Championship clubs from £380,000 to more than £500,00, depending on certain criteria, but Maggs believes that the RFU – and the Premiership – would get a good return on any increased investment.

“It’s the pathway for the players who are currently playing for England,” Maggs added.

“The majority of them have come through and played at some point in the Championship and it needs to be funded properly.

“They need to make sure we look after the players and the clubs in it because it will no doubt benefit the England team and the Premiership sides in the future.”

MIKE SINCLAIR

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