Welsh Rugby introduces standard contracts after strike threat
NEWS: Wales’ four regional teams can begin to offer their players new deals following an agreement to introduce standard contracts.
Prolonged and bitter wrangling over the long delay in putting fresh written agreements on the table led frustrated Wales internationals and their club colleagues to threaten a players’ strike ahead of last month’s Six Nations match against England in Cardiff.
But a compromise has been reached and players at the four Welsh regions – Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets – now look set to receive reduced offers, with several leading stars set to take up more lucrative club contracts in England and abroad.
The Welsh Rugby Union said Saturday the Professional Rugby Board, which administers the professional game in Wales, and the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association had reached an agreement on standard contracts that have been presented to several players and their agents.
PRB chairman Malcolm Wall, thanked the players for their “patience and understanding”.
“This is a significant step forward in the process we are following which will secure a sustainable future for the professional game in Wales,” Wall said.
“A lot of hard work has gone into getting us to this stage, and we are delighted to say our four professional sides are now in a position to offer legally-binding contracts as necessary.”
Welsh Rugby Players Association chief executive Gareth Lewis added: “Work has been ongoing for the past 12 months on producing new standard form contracts.
“I am pleased to conclude this process, and now our focus is on supporting our members – those that continue within the game and also those transitioning to new career paths.”