Welsh Rugby Union unites with the four regions

THE WELSH Rugby Union have entered into a £60 million (75.8) deal with the four Welsh regions.

The deal which will last until 2020 is aimed at keeping the star players from moving to clubs outside of Wales and means that a minimum of six key home-based internationals will be dual WRU-regions contracts.

The key points of the new deal will include increased regional funding, dual contracts to top test players, and preference given to Welsh players .

Each of the regions – Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets – will be able to sign only six non-Welsh qualified players. Unlike in recent years, when there has been a mass exodus of Welsh Test players to clubs in England and France.

Although the dispute between the two governing bodies lasted nearly two years, Nigel Short, chairman of umbrella body Regional Rugby Wales, said the agreement was a positive step forward, with plenty of hard work still to be done.

He added: “With greater clarity and the security of a new agreement, the regions can forward plan with more focus, working hard to ensure their independent businesses remain competitive.

“Things will not change overnight – but securing our new agreement in partnership is a positive forward step.”

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