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Welsh URC regions issue statement amid fears of player exodus

By Ian Cameron
Josh Adams in action for Cardiff Rugby during a United Rugby Championship fixture between Glasgow Warriors and Cardiff Rugby at Scotstoun, on September 23, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The Welsh regions have responded to reports that there could be an exodus of players from the regional sides if a continued freeze on contract negotiations continues.

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Over the weekend the Welsh Rugby Players Association expressed grave concerns on behalf of its members, some of whom have not been able to obtain mortgages off the back of the uncertainty around their future salary.

Last week Dragons RFC lock Will Rowlands agreed a deal with Racing 92 at least partly due to an inability from the club to give him any certainty around his contract.

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The WRPA said: “For the sanity and health of our members, the delay cannot go on any longer.”

Welsh Rugby Union performance director

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Now the regions have issued a joint statement revealing that six-year framework for professional rugby in Wales has been ‘verbally’ agreed.

The statement from the boards of Cardiff Rugby, Dragons RFC, Ospreys and Scarlets reads: “The four professional regional clubs fully endorse and sympathise with the concern expressed in the statement released by the Welsh Rugby Players Association over the weekend. We recognize the stress uncertainty causes players, coaches, staff and their families.

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“We regret how long discussions have taken so far but we are pleased to confirm that, as of this morning, we have verbally agreed a new 6 year framework for professional rugby in Wales. It is now incumbent upon all parties to finalise the detail of this agreement in consultation with players, coaches and staff.

“The entire game in Wales, both professional and grassroots, faces significant and unprecedented challenges, which require collaboration, a clear strategy and decisive action.

“We all want to conclude ongoing PRB discussions as soon as possible to ensure strong professional regional clubs, a successful national team and a thriving community game.”

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