The English players’ union says it is a “sad day in the history of rugby” as the civil war between players and Premiership clubs over pay escalates.
The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) has warned of potential legal action after clubs voted unanimously to cut the salary cap by £1.4m from 2021-22.
Most top-flight players took a 25% pay cut in March because of coronavirus.
In a statement released to The Times, the clubs accused the RPA of not giving its members “appropriate advice”.
Now the union says the clubs have “personally attacked” players and their representatives, and says the suggestion there was an agreement to make pay cuts permanent is “pure fabrication”.
The RPA has urged independent mediation to resolve the matter.