1. ITV Report

£60million deal brings an end to long-running Welsh rugby dispute

The new £60million deal brings to an end months of dispute between the WRU and Regional Rugby Wales. Photo: David Davies/PA Archive

A new £60million participation agreement between the four Welsh rugby regions and the Welsh Rugby Union has been signed. The six-year deal marks the end of months of dispute and uncertainty in the Welsh game.

In a joint statement, the WRU and regions say that new 'National Dual Contracts' for key players will help to ensure a 'core of leading Welsh international players' stay in Wales with the four regions. Players to be offered a National Dual Contract will be chosen by the national Head Coach and will be WRU employees.

A 'Senior Player Selection Policy' means that players based outside Wales in future will not be eligible for selection subject to a number of exceptions at the discretion of the Head Coach. There is also a limit of six foreign players in each of the regional squads.

This new agreement creates a new and positive relationship within Welsh rugby and is firmly based on the rugby priorities for Wales. The National Dual Contracts represent a radical step forward in our mutual aim of retaining Welsh talent here in Wales.

– Roger Lewis, WRU chief executive

Following long and detailed negotiations, RRW is satisfied that the new agreement with the WRU creates a fair, progressive and credible foundation to protect and support the best interests of Welsh Rugby into the future; with the core objective of delivering a sustainable and competitive professional game in Wales.

The new agreement is a positive step forward for the long-term benefit of Welsh rugby with plenty of hard work still to be done to ensure that the game in Wales prospers, works in partnership and develops at all levels.

– Nigel Short, chairman of Regional Rugby Wales