Exclusive: CEO of WRU Reaffirms Stance on Centrally Contracted Players

By iSportconnect | February 14, 2013

The CEO of Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis, has reaffirmed his commitment to centrally contracted players in Wales, but has admitted an agreement has been hard to come by.

In 2012, the WRU planned to use the £6.2m they give the four regions for releasing their Welsh internationals to fund central contracts.

The WRU aimed to keep the top Welsh players in the four regions, but their offer was rejected.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Lewis said: “I think going forward, centrally contracted players in Wales has to be the way, but to achieve that you have to have the agreement of a number of parties.

“We’re not there at the moment but I’m still of the view that a more centralised approach to rugby in Wales is the way forward because we are a small country and the economic environment here is extremely challenging.”

The regions have struggled to keep their best players due to financial constraints but rejected the WRU’s offer to pay the wages of Welsh internationals.

Lewis has previously come under criticism for speaking publicly about the debate, but has always remained determined to pursue the change, citing Ireland and New Zealand as positive examples of central contract models.