PREMIERSHIP rugby was battling yesterday to defuse tension over World Cup compensation payments to clubs.
International Rugby Board regulations forbid that other matches are staged during the knock-out phase of their global showpiece, which is being hosted by England next year.
But that means the possibility of five income-free months for nervy clubs.
Premiership sides are demanding compensation for the lost cash from the Rugby Football Union amid threats that they’ll play games in contravention of IRB rules.
Leicester chief executive Simon Cohen has claimed: “It’s like going back to the bad old days of serfdom.”
But Premiership Rugby chairman Quentin Smith insisted yesterday that talks were nearing a conclusion.
“We’re all looking for a swift outcome, something that is in sight,” Smith said.