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World 12s organisers have claimed that more than 500 players have expressed an interest in joining the start-up competition.

Taking inspiration from cricket's Indian Premier League (IPL) and The Hundred, World 12s was launched in September promising a 12-a-side rugby format to represent eight new franchises.

They hope to attract 192 of the world's best players to annually compete around the world over a three-week span.

Fleshing out their plans on Thursday, World 12s organisers say leading international players could earn in excess of £250,000 (€292k) for their participation.

In addition, they claim that the top three teams at the end of the tournament will earn a share of a £1,000,000 (€1.168m) prize fund. Furthermore, unions releasing players will also be compensated.

There are six bands of player salaries, based on the minimum salary they'd be willing to accept at next spring's player auction.

They break down as follows:

Category A players: Base price of £125,000 (€146k)
Category B players: Base price of £90,000 (€105k)
Category C players: Base price of £70,000 (€82k)
Category D players: Base price of £45,000 (€52.56k)
Category E players: Base price of £20,000 (€23.3k)
Category F players: Base price of £10,000 (€11.68k)

Despite the increasing meat on the World 12s bone, World Rugby don't appear keen on the concept.

Following consultation last month with World 12s organisers, World Rugby said they "do not wish to explore the concept further at this time", preferring to concentrate on a more harmonious international calendar.

But World 12s CEO Rowena Samarasinhe appeared unbowed on Thursday, saying, "In response to the high interest we have received from potential franchise owners, and from over 500 current players from around the world, we are delighted to confirm the starting base salary structure for our inaugural tournament which we are planning to stage in the UK next August.”

"From the beginning of this process, World 12s has stressed that we believe this tournament will complement the existing XVs game, and it aims to help provide the players, clubs and unions with financial reward for their participation, as well as broader development benefits.

"The figures announced today are starting prices for the auction, and the players themselves will have the power to determine their base price, and at which level they enter the auction.”

“In addition to the financial rewards, the feedback we have had from players at all levels around the world, past and present, is that one of the most attractive benefits of this tournament is the chance to play alongside players from around the world, and be coached by one of the world’s leading coaches.”

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