Peace at last in Wales

Date published: August 28 2014

Peace in Wales has finally been struck after it was confirmed that the WRU and four regions have signed a new Participation Agreement.

Peace in Wales has finally been struck after it was announced that the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and four regions signed a new Participation Agreement.

The deal is worth £60m and lasts until 2020, with dual contracts for the country's top players set to be included while the Wales 'A' team returns.

“The national dual contracts represent a radical step forward in our mutual aim of retaining Welsh talent in Wales,” said WRU CEO Roger Lewis.

“The new contracts will help us keep more of our best players in Wales and will help stem the flow abroad of the talent we develop here through our academies and regions.”

The four regions – who each receive £500,000 for signing the deal – must adhere to contracting a maximum of six foreign players, with two players going down the route of qualifying for residency.

Lewis added: “I want to thank all four Regions and their representative body, Regional Rugby Wales, for all the hard work involved over recent months. In particular I also want to thank our supporters, sponsors, staff and especially our players, coaches and rugby staff for their patience.

“The new RSA creates a new rugby environment within which together we can nurture and develop the professional game in Wales.

“It has taken us a long time to reach the conclusion of our negotiations, but that is because of the complicated structure and radical nature of the deal which matches financial distributions with deliverable rugby priorities.

“The Regions are a vitally important component of the structure of Welsh rugby and they have to be able to thrive and develop for the game in Wales to remain successful.

“We now have an agreement which will ensure the pyramid structure which leads from the grassroots right through to the international team is strong and truly fit for purpose.”