Charteris released for Australia clash
October 29, 2012
Wales second-row Luke Charteris will be free to play against Australia in Cardiff © Getty Images
Wales coach Rob Howley has thanked French club Perpignan after they agreed to give second-row Luke Charteris dispensation to play for Wales against Australia on December 1, despite not being obliged to release him.
The match falls outside the Test window and as such the French side would have been well within their rights to turn down the Welsh Rugby Union's request. Instead Charteris will not be available for the match against Argentina on November 10 and will instead be part of the Perpignan squad that takes on Biarritz in the Top 14, BBC Sport reports.
Howley and head coach Warren Gatland recently travelled to France to discuss the release of players based in the Top 14. However, Wales have yet to agree similar deals with Charteris' Perpignan team-mate James Hook, nor Bayonne scrum-half Mike Phillips or Toulon prop Gethin Jenkins.
"We are delighted to have come to an agreement with Perpignan which will allow Luke to be available to be considered for selection for the Wallabies game," Howley said. "This is a major step forward for us and shows that our trip out to France to talk face to face with the clubs has paid dividends. We have reached a compromise which allows Perpignan to have Luke available to them when they need him most, and see no reason why we can't build on this relationship in the future."
Following the Test against Los Pumas, Wales take on Samoa, New Zealand and Australia on consecutive weekends at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Howley has named a 35-man squad for the autumn series, but will be without prop Adam Jones who suffered a knee injury and flanker Dan Lydiate, who has an injured ankle.
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Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September