The Welsh Rugby Union have rejected Newport Gwent Dragons' request to sell star number eight Taulupe Faletau.
Dragons have been denied permission to proceed with a possible transfer following the submission of a formal request to Warren Gatland last week.
The National Coach has re-iterated his commitment to upholding the restrictions imposed by the Rugby Services Agreement (RSA) in limiting the number of players being selected from outside Wales in the future.
Dragons Chief Executive Stuart Davies explained: "This has been a difficult and sensitive rugby matter, in which the needs and wishes of a player, a region, the wider game in Wales and the national side have all been part of a rather challenging conundrum.
"At the heart of it of course is Taulupe, who has been loyal to and is very happy at the Dragons. Having become aware however of possible interest in him from an English club, he formally requested permission to speak to them, which we granted, with a view to establishing what was best for the player and indeed the region.
"There then followed a significant period of discussion and negotiation, during which we adhered to the provisions of the RSA. For this particular scenario, release of Taulupe from his contract would have required the National Head Coach's permission, and the 'wildcard' provision within the WRU Senior Selection Policy was an important factor in this regard.
"As such, upon Rhys Priestland's reported break from international rugby, the matter was revisited.
"It was always going to be painful to lose Taulupe, given what we're trying to build here at the Dragons, but our decision to pursue the transfer option was a very measured one, having regard to a number of considerations.
"Whilst we fully respect the aspirations of the RSA, naturally it is disappointing on this occasion that we have not been able to act independently in the best interests of the region, or to receive the required support in achieving our preferred outcome.