Problems are piling up for the Welsh Rugby Union. In addition to the performance crisis of the men’s team on the field of play and the media crisis that have led to accusations leveled against the federal entity for an alleged toxic and misogynistic culture, now contractual differences have arisen between the XV del Puerro players and the WRU that threaten the course of the Six Nations.
This weekend is the first break in the great oval tournament in the northern hemisphere, but on Saturday the 25th of this month the third day will start, in which the Welsh host England at the Millennium in Cardiff. A duel that is in danger every time the players consider going on strike as a measure of pressure.
The heart of the matter is the new agreement that the Federation and the four franchises that supply it with players, Cardiff, Ospreys, Dragons and Scarlets, are close to signing, and which, given the precarious financial situation of this sport in the Principality, has generated uncertainty among the internationals, as many of them are ending their contract soon and their future is not clear. In fact, it is feared that this problem will generate a massive exodus to clubs in other latitudes.
This would be a torpedo to the waterline of the national team, since a regulation approved in 2017 establishes that those who provide their services in foreign clubs cannot be called up unless they have 60 international matches behind them or more. One of the most recent victims is second row Will Rowlands, who has signed for French Racing 92 for next season and is therefore left out of Warren Gatland’s plans for the World Cup.
“I can’t believe that I am five months away from expiring my contract and eight from the World Cup and my future is still not clear,” an international recently assured the Daily Mail on condition of anonymity. “I can’t ask for a mortgage and I’m taking antidepressants. I am one injury away from not having a job in July and even so I continue to play every week for a Federation that earns millions from international matches, ”he added of a mess that could be the straw that broke the camel’s back for battered Welsh rugby.