Alun-Wyn Jones staged protest before Australia match
December 16, 2013
Alun-Wyn Jones belts out his country's national anthem during the 2010 Six Nations © Getty Images
On the day he signed a new four-year contract to coach Wales, Warren Gatland admitted the ongoing row between board and regions was impacting on the national side.
Gatland told reporters that lock Alun-Wyn Jones made a silent protest before the 30-26 defeat to Australia at the Millennium Stadium.
"If a player like Alun-Wyn doesn't sing the first part of the national anthem as a protest at what's going on between the regions and the WRU, it's an example, for me, of the uneasiness these young men are feeling about what's been happening," Gatland said. "It's the same in any job when there's uncertainty about the future.
"As a rugby player, you potentially don't go into a match with quite the same focus as you might otherwise have.
"Even though it was a close game and we put ourselves in a position to win I felt, when I looked back at it, what's going on is probably having an emotional impact on the players."
Jones is out of contract at the end of the season and expected to be a target for French and English clubs.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
From Burgess to Boudjellal, Haskell to Honey Badgers and retirees to Retallick, here's the Quotes of 2014
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend