World Rugby in new 'club v country' row
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: There is a new club versus country row and this time World Rugby is caught in the middle.
Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty has launched an attack on World Rugby for allowing Test matches outside the designated Test windows and suggested that English and French clubs should have more say on how the game is run at international level.
McCafferty hit out at the sanctioning of Wales’ international with South Africa in Washington D.C. this weekend.
No English-based Wales players were released to play in the Stateside match, which meant that Exeter’s Tomas Francis, Bath’s Luke Charteris and Worcester’s Josh Adams missed out, after a complaint by Premiership Rugby Limited.
“You shouldn’t be authorising matches outside Test windows and then expecting players to be released.”
“We’re not sure why World Rugby authorises these matches. It’s just messy. Defined international windows are there, and that’s when the matches should occur.” McCafferty told the BBC.
He’s called for English and French clubs to have more influence on the game.
“We are getting into all kinds of scraps around players being released for extra Tests in June, much of which we think would be avoidable if there was a proper body under the auspices of World Rugby that involved the clubs to look at these things, and say which matches are being authorised outside the window and on what basis.”
“World Rugby is still seemingly reluctant to involve the clubs from England and France as major stakeholders in the game. A lot of these spats could be avoided with a more co-ordinated approach. We are having a renewed push on that.”
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Francis, Charteris and Adams would have been available for Wales’ Tests against Argentina on June ninth and 16th, however, they’ve been replaced in the Wales squad by Rhodri Jones, Ashton Hewitt and Aaron Wainwright.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland was disappointed by the trio not being available and said at the time of the changes: “The situation is very clear for players playing in England going forward and heading into a Rugby World Cup year.
“With the players unavailable to link up with the squad until the week of our second Test match we have had to replace them in the squad.”