French ponder salary cap

French league chiefs are considering going the way of their English counterparts and bringing in a salary cap for their professional clubs.

With French teams having unrivalled spending power, a host of top-class players have been lured to the Top 14.

The likes of New Zealand stars Dan Carter and Jerry Collins came over for this season while England trio James Haskell, Tom Palmer (both Stade Francais) and Riki Flutey (Brive) will quit the Guinness Premiership and move to France in the summer.

More big names are set to follow in their footsteps, with England’s 2003 World Cup-winning fly-half Jonny Wilkinson linked with Toulon, Bayonne and Racing Metro.

A working group has been put in place by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) to look into the idea of bringing in a salary cap, and their findings will be revealed on April 2.

“We are thinking now that it’s necessary to find a mechanism to allow the capping of wage bills, perhaps by fixing a maximum wage that clubs, collectively, are not able to go over,” LNR vice-president Patrick Wolff said in L’Equipe.

“It would be a question of capping the top five or 10 salaries at each club.

“If a club wants a Carter or a (Sebastien) Chabal, he can come, but people will not be able to do it at the same club.

“We can’t allow one club to drain the transfer market.”