£60million participation deal brings peace to Welsh rugby

A new £60million participation agreement has been signed between the four Welsh rugby regions and the Welsh Rugby Union, bringing to an end months of uncertainty.

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RRW: Process 'protracted, tortuous and uncomfortable'

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.

We rose above any of the stuff, the noise, that was said outside of the negotiating room - because within the negotiating chamber there wasn't a cross word, there wasn't a raised voice. There was no animosity whatsoever in the negotiating room. Outside of the room, we didn't comment. We retained our dignity.

– Roger Lewis, WRU chief executive, speaking yesterday

The new Rugby Services Agreement, which runs through until 2020, ends months of negotiations over the future of the professional game in Wales.

Regional Rugby Wales apologises for fans' "anxiety"

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.

A peace deal was finally agreed yesterday, with 10 players receiving dual contracts in a six-year £60million-plus agreement.

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WRU and Regional Rugby Wales agreement at a glance

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.
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