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WRU preparing massive salary bid to bring Ross Moriarty home

By Alex Shaw
Ross Moriarty

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It is no secret that the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) are keen to bring dynamic flanker Ross Moriarty back across the Severn and to team him up with one of the four Welsh PRO14 regions.

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There were rumours that Moriarty could leave Gloucester at the end of last season – with a year remaining on his contract – but they turned out to be unfounded and the British and Irish Lion opted to stay with the Cherry and Whites, rather than seeking an early release.

RugbyPass understands that the WRU do now have proposals on the table to Moriarty, who is in the last season of his contract with Gloucester, to bring him back the country he represents at international level and where he spent much of his childhood.

The proposals, which would see him take up a National Dual Contract, are believed to offer Moriarty a salary somewhere in the £450k-£525k range, with the WRU funding 60% of the contract and the remaining 40% paid for by one of the four regions.

Understandably, Gloucester are in no rush to lose one of their star players and there is the scope for Moriarty to earn more than that reported salary in either England or France, prompting a tough decision for the flanker.

Whereas Moriarty had previously been exempt from “Gatland’s Law”, should he choose to stay in England or head to France, rather than returning to Wales with an offer on the table from the WRU, he would no longer get a free pass in terms of international selection. He would have to compete with the likes of George North, Jamie Roberts and Taulupe Faletau, who all also turned down WRU offers to move or stay outside of Wales.

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Gatland’s Law, or the WRU Senior Players Selection Policy as it is officially known, has been roundly criticised by players, fans and the media alike and any changes to the policy as a result this season could help sway Moriarty one way or the other.

Some have called for the policy to be scrapped and players based anywhere to be available for selection, whilst others have also called for it to be scrapped, but for a selection policy of Welsh-based players only to be adopted.

Needless to say, new Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann will not be keen to lose the abrasive flanker and will have convincing Moriarty to stay, very high on his list of priorities.

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