Leicester’s international stars”should not leave ship” and might still play England at case of relegation, states RFU manager Nigel Melville.

A number of England’s leading players, including Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi, are on Leicester’s books, many without straight relegation clauses.

“Moving down really should not be a reason to leave ship,” Melville told BBC Sport.

“I think you should be finding its way back up with your team and making a statement.

“They’re committed and loyal with their nightclubs. If they did come down, they would come back up because they would ensure they do”

‘Promotion and relegation was agreed’

Props Dan Cole and Ellis Genge, scrumhalf Youngs, fly half George Ford, centre Tuilagi and wing Jonny may possibly all played vital roles in England’s recent Six Nations effort.

While the majority of the contracts do add a contingency in case of relegation, they aren’t thought to be straight relegation clauses whereas either the club or player may terminate the deal.

But regardless of the gulf in quality between both tiers of English rugby, interim leader Melville reported that the RFU could”absolutely” select players operating from the Championship, adding they might be”fresher” at the level.

“we are able to move forward and pick players out of the Championship,” he explained.

“It’d probably mean they have more rest than they would at the moment which could cause them to become shinier”

The Premiership clubs remain interested in’ring-fencing’ the very best flight, however, Melville has reiterated the RFU’s stance that there is going to be a team moving down at the end of the season in May.

“It is not almost one team, it’s all about the entire league,” he added. “Promotion and relegation has been agreed, which explains how it ends up.

“It’s a brilliant rivalry, plus it shows the effectiveness of promotion and relegation.”

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