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Sam Warburton signs WRU National Contract

Sam Warburton will stay in Wales after signing WRU National Contract.

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Regions slam WRU Warburton contract when future still unclear

Sam Warburton signed a WRU national contract last week Credit: PA Images

Regional Rugby Wales has released a statement on behalf of the four Welsh regions criticising the WRU after Sam Warburton signed a national contract with them.

The central contract means Sam will continue playing for the Cardiff Blues, but he'll be released from domestic duties for Wales games at no cost to the region.

The WRU described the agreement as a triumph in the interests of all Welsh rugby.

In a statement, RRW said:

"Firstly, it is important for the Welsh Regions to stress that they have the utmost respect for Sam Warburton as a player, a leader, a young man of great integrity and as an important role model for every young rugby player inside and outside Wales.

"At the same time, the Regions respect and support the right of Sam or any individual to make their own decision for their future based on their understanding of the choices available to them at any one time.

"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.

"The Regions would ask what kind of message this sends out about Welsh Rugby to our colleagues in the game across the world.

"The Regions would also question how one national contract works as a constructive and sustainable strategy for the whole of Welsh rugby given that we have some 200 professional players in Wales contracted to the Regions.

"The Regions are concerned about the impact of this action, the confusion it creates within Welsh Rugby at this time and how it may unsettle the balance of strong and close-knit team environments at the Regions."

Read the full statement here.

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