The four Welsh regions have denied any agreement that Wales Captain Sam Warburton will be guaranteed to play regional rugby next season after signing Wales' first WRU 'central contract' at the weekend.
After signing the contract, his new employers - the WRU - had indicated Warburton would play his regional rugby in Wales with the Cardiff blues as part of the deal.
But in a statement issued by umbrella body Regional Rugby Wales, the regions said:
The introduction of one individual national contract at this particular time, however, leaves the Regions bemused and they would question the strategy behind the bizarre action by the WRU given that a final agreement on the future of Welsh Rugby has yet to be reached.
No overall framework has been agreed between the WRU and Regions, so no agreement to play centrally contracted players in the Regions currently exists.
The Welsh Rugby Union has publicly endorsed Shaun Edwards’ new appointment as one day a week defence coach of London Irish.
It will keep Shaun at the very cutting edge of the game at a domestic level, as did his prior arrangement with London Wasps and that can only of benefit to Wales.
– WRU Spokesperson
Edwards, who signed up to be Wales assistant coach (defence) up to and including the 2015 Rugby World Cup last year, has been an integral part of the national squad and has played a key role in two RBS 6 Nations Grand Slams as well as helping his adopted nation to the 2011 RWC semi-finals.
Plans have been submitted to the Welsh Rugby Union for a fifth rugby region in the South Wales Valleys. Valleys Rugby would be part-owned by the community, with the majority of matches played at Sardis Road. It's looking to compete in the Rabo Direct league and in Europe in the 2013/14 season.
Plans for Valleys Rugby were launched at Sardis Road earlier this month. The business model outlines a new type of structure for a region in Wales.
The ‘People’s Region’ is aiming to generate subscription from 10,000 fans at £100 per person, per annum, alongside commercial sponsorship.
Pontypridd-born Nigel Greenaway, who is behind the campaign, said
We are grateful that the WRU's Roger Lewis, Steve Phillips and others are taking our proposal seriously, in the manner in which was intended, and look forward to expanding on our vision when we meet in the near future.
Valleys Rugby has been massively encouraged by the response we have received in the few weeks since we launched, and we remain ever more certain that the Valleys must be represented once more at the top-table of Welsh rugby.