Peace at last in Wales?
August 24, 2014
Sam Warburton should be allowed to play for the Blues again later this week © PA Photos
The Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions are expected to next week confirm a new Participation Agreement has been signed which will see an end to the impasse in talks between the two parties.
Both the WRU and Regional Rugby Wales have been in discussions over a new Participation Agreement for the past year - a contract that governs funding, player release and contracts. The deadline of June 30 passed without any agreement between the two parties but the Sunday Telegraph reports they have finally reached a compromise with the new Agreement set to be unveiled this week.
The agreement means Sam Warburton will be permitted to return to playing duties for the Cardiff Blues after he was sidelined by the impasse in discussions - the regions said they would not pick any player on a WRU-funded central contract.
Central to the agreement is the introduction of new dual-contracts for a number of Wales' top players. Warren Gatland has reportedly earmarked 10 for this with Warburton's central contract now being part-funded by the Cardiff Blues.
According to the newspaper, Warburton will be joined on dual-contracts by Ospreys' Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar, Scarlets' Scott Williams, Ken Owens and Liam Williams, Blues' Gareth Anscombe, Alex Cuthbert and Gethin Jenkins and Dragons' Taulupe Faletau.
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