WRU chief admits regions row has damaged game's image

WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis has admitted the ongoing dispute with the Welsh regions has tarnished the image of Welsh rugby in the world game.

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WRU: Competitions uncertainty 'close to resolution'

The Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive says the uncertainty over competitions for next season is "close to resolution".

Roger Lewis has told ITV News a meeting is to be held tomorrow with colleagues from France, Ireland and England to "thrash out" details of a new European competition.

"Qualification through Europe will be through the Pro12. So the two competitions - the Pro12 and a European Cup competition - looks close to resolution," he added.

The subject has been one element of an ongoing dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regional teams, with additional concerns over funding and player control.

Rugby regions row continues

The Six Nations Rugby competition gets going tomorrow but not for the first time in the Welsh game, off-field politics is overshadowing affairs on the pitch.

The Welsh Rugby Union remains locked in dispute with the four regional teams over funding, player control and competitions. Richard Morgan reports.

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Regions row continues ahead of Six Nations launch

Tomorrow sees the launch of this year's Six Nations Rugby competition, but not for the first time in the Welsh game, off-field politics is overshadowing affairs on the pitch.

The Welsh Rugby Union remains locked in dispute with the four regional teams over funding, player control and competitions.

The regions have said that unless they can reach agreement with the union by this end of the month, they'll consider joining new tournaments without the WRU's approval.

Former WRU boss David Moffett wants to stand for election as union chairman, and claims that he could solve Welsh rugby's woes in just ten days.

"I've come back because I'm passionate about Welsh rugby. And in recent months I've seen what's happening here", he tells Richard Morgan.

"There is a toxic relationship between the union and the regions. They do not trust each other, they don't like each other, they don't respect each other. I believe I can change that."

More: WRU Chief says regional row has left world rugby 'bemused'

Welsh players in Europe give their view on the regions row

One of the main sticking points in negotiations is the issue of player retention. Recent years have seen more and more Welsh internationals leave their regions to take up contracts with wealthy clubs abroad.

So would more money be the answer to keeping players here or are there other motivations? Our Sports Reporter Nick Hartley went to meet Mike Phillips and Jamie Roberts in France to hear why they went, and how they feel better off out of the crisis.