Wednesday, April 12, 2023
HomeUSA NewsSix Nations 2023: Deadline day looms for Wales v England match in...

Six Nations 2023: Deadline day looms for Wales v England match in Cardiff

Wales players are arm-in-arm as they gather in a circle at training
Wales players gather in a circle at training

The decision on whether Wales’ Six Nations match against England goes ahead will go down to the deadline day of 22 February set by Welsh players.

Saturday’s game is in doubt with Wales players threatening not to play because of a dispute with Welsh rugby bosses over contracts.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland had said he was hopeful the matter would be resolved on Tuesday despite delaying naming his team.

A resolution has yet to materialise.

This takes matters into the deadline day the Wales players have set of Wednesday for the issues to be resolved.

Gatland revealed a training session on Tuesday afternoon had been cancelled so players could continue negotiations and said the threat from the national squad not to play against England was genuine.

There will now be meetings on Wednesday between the players and the Professional Rugby Board (PRB), which runs the professional game in Wales and is made up of representatives from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and four regions – Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets.

The PRB are due to meet in the morning before addressing Wales’ professional players in the afternoon.

The players want three issues resolved before they agree to take the field at Principality Stadium for a match worth close to £10m for Welsh rugby.

They are seeking:

  • Wales Rugby Players Association (WRPA) representation at PRB meetings
  • The removal of the 60-cap selection rule in Wales whereby a player plying his trade outside the country cannot be picked unless he has made at least that number of Test appearances
  • The removal of Welsh rugby bosses’ demand that players accept 80% in set wages, with 20% available in bonuses

PRB chair Malcolm Wall has said the 60-cap rule is under review and it is believed they are considering bringing the requirement down to between 25 or 40 caps.

However, Wall stated his organisation was intent on pressing ahead with the fixed/variable contracts which mean players are only guaranteed 80% of salaries.

Wall also said the PRB will invite the WRPA to be represented at meetings and that an official position on the board would have to be formalised.

Gatland, who said he was unaware of the severity of the issue when he decided to return to Wales after predecessor Wayne Pivac’s departure in December 2022, says his players will be in the right frame of mind to play if the match goes ahead.

“I don’t think there is going to be any lack of motivation for a player playing against England,” he said.

“If things are resolved they will be completely focused on the game.”

Watch on iPlayer bannerWatch on iPlayer footer

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments