Lydiate gets dual contract offer

Date published: November 19 2014

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Wales flanker Dan Lydiate was one of 12 players offered a new national dual contract by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) on Tuesday.

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate was one of 12 players offered a new national dual contract by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) on Tuesday.

After months of bitter wrangling, the WRU and Wales’ four professional regions agreed on a way forward for the club game in the Principality in September.

Wales captain Sam Warburton already has such a dual contract, with the aim to ensure other leading players stay at home and play for one of the regions while pursuing their international careers.

A further group of players could be considered depending on the outcome of the offers being made Tuesday.

Lucrative offers from clubs in France and England led to a talent drain at regional level, with the likes of Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, George North and Lydiate leaving the Welsh club game.

But in Lydiate’s case the move didn’t work out as planned, with the back-row starting just two matches in the Top 14 for Racing Metro this season after joining the Paris-based club from the Dragons at the start of the previous European campaign.

Lydiate, selected by Wales coach Warren Gatland for Saturday’s clash against world champions New Zealand at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, left Racing last month, fearing a lack of game time was damaging his hopes of playing at next year’s World Cup in England.

The 26-year-old, capped 39 times by Wales, is currently unattached to a club.

“National dual contracts will help us keep international class talent here in Wales available for regional rugby and for international selection,” said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis.

“Dan Lydiate suddenly became available while Warren was preparing his list of national dual contract candidates, which offered us the opportunity to bring a key international player back to Wales.”

The new deals are funded 60 percent by the WRU and 40 percent by the four Welsh professional regions, with

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