Welsh game on the brink
REACTION: Players at Wales’ four regions are being “detrimentally impacted” by the financial uncertainty surrounding their futures, the Welsh Rugby Players Association said on Sunday.
A failure to reach an agreement between the professional sides and the Welsh Rugby Union about their funding for the coming years has led to a freeze in contract talks.
“The ongoing delay however is having a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of players and potentially the performances across the regions,” the WRPA said.
“Players are struggling to remortgage or get new mortgages as banks require proof of earnings.
“With only six months remaining on contracts and no guarantee of employment thereafter, banks are simply refusing at present,” it added.
This weekend Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and the Scarlets lost in South Africa in the United Rugby Championship.
They only have 10 victories between them this season in the competition, after nine rounds.
“The players from all four regions are united in one voice to call for the immediate resolution to the impasse,” the body said.
“Our members can’t continue to play with the fear of the unknown hanging over them,” it added.
This year, the national side have recorded just three victories and have lost to Italy and Georgia with head coach Wayne Pivac’s position under threat less than 10 months out from the Rugby World Cup.
According to reports, Dragons’ Wales lock Will Rowlands has agreed a move to French club Racing 92 for next season.
“Players are now reluctantly seeking security elsewhere by exploring opportunities outside of Wales and as a result, this week it was suggested that the first high profile player has decided to move to France,” the WRPA added.
“For the sanity and health of our members, the delay cannot go on any longer.
“An agreement needs to be concluded by the Union and four regions imminently,” it added.