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Following yesterday's announcement of a new agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions, the chief executive of Regional Rugby Wales has described the process as 'very uncomfortable'.
His words appear to contradict an interview with WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis yesterday, in which Mr Lewis insisted negotiations had been amicable.
The new Rugby Services Agreement, which runs through until 2020, ends months of negotiations over the future of the professional game in Wales.
The chief executive of Regional Rugby Wales has apologised to fans for any "anxiety" during months of painstaking negotiations between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions over the future of the professional game.
WRU chief executive Roger Lewis told ITV News the new deal between the union and regions is about 'nurturing, developing and retaining players.'
He said the WRU 'kept its diginity' throughout the negotiations with Regional Rugby Wales and denied there was any animosity in the negotiating room.
Here are a few of the highlights of the new deal between the WRU and the Welsh rugby regions:
- £8.7million a year to the regions, with £3.6m in loan facilities from the WRU
- One-off £500,000 payment to each region on signing the agreement
- National Dual Contracts for key players
- Senior Player Selection Policy - players based outside Wales will be ineligible subject to a number of exceptions at the Head Coach's discretion
- Number of foreign players in each region limited to six
- Each region will be allowed two 'time-serving' foreign players who will be eligible for Welsh selection after three years residency
- WRU retains the right to play up to 13 senior international games each year with a 13-day release facility for squad training before the Six Nations and Autumn Internationals
- Management and responsibility for four regional academies for emerging talent transferred to the four regions with £600,000 support each year from the WRU.
Latest ITV News reports
A new £60million participation agreement between the four Welsh rugby regions and the Welsh Rugby Union has been signed.