Guinness from Wales face off against the Six Nations England The potential player was threatened Wednesday amid strike action and scheduled crisis talks.
Three days before the scheduled kick-off CardiffContractual chaos was still at the center of the scene as players gathered for a crucial meeting with members of the Professional Rugby Board at Wales’ training base in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Every professional player Wales rugby was invited to the afternoon summit meeting.
Many of them are out of contract with their regional team at the end of this season, but new deals cannot be offered in writing until a new six-year financial deal. Welsh Rugby Union and its four regions have been confirmed, no game budgets have been finalized at this time.
Wales players, meanwhile, are calling for the removal of the controversial 60-cap Test selection rule for players conducting their trade outside the country, a voice at PRB meetings, and a review of fixed-variable contracts that see only 80 percent of salary guaranteed. the remaining 20 involve bonus-related payments.
While Gareth Lewis, president of the Welsh Rugby Players Association, is now invited to attend PRB meetings, it is thought the threshold of the 60 cap policy could be cut in half at least.
But the new contract format remains the biggest complaint from players and could lead to the nightmare action scenario unfolding.
This would inevitably mean the cancellation of Saturday’s Cardiff game – worth around £9m for the WRU – and possibly leading to sanctions from the Six Nations chiefs.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland He admits the strike action is a “real threat” but is hopeful that agreement will be reached as the clock ticks.
The PRB, the negotiators for the future of professional play in Wales, met on Wednesday morning before engaging in tough discussions with the players.
The group consists of a representative of each Welsh region – Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets – WRU acting CEO Nigel Walker, WRU finance director Tim Moss and chairman Malcolm Wall and two independent members of Marianne Okland.
Meanwhile, Gatland has delayed announcing that his team will face England 48 hours later, until Thursday, the same day Steve Borthwick’s team will travel to the Welsh capital.
But unless an agreement is reached between the PRB and the players – and both parties will have to compromise – then the fixture, with a live BBC broadcast of 74,500 sold out, looks doomed.
Speaking on Tuesday, Gatland said: “It’s been a bit of a challenge, but sometimes it gets people moving and it brings them together.
“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes and we’re aware of that, but when it came time to practice, they[players]put themselves to good use.
“I think players have been reassured several times that this will be resolved and unfortunately, they couldn’t come to an agreement in terms of PRB, League and territories, and it finally came to a head.”