Planet Rugby

Jones vents over Welsh saga

10th December 2013 14:59

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Ryan Jones

Unhappy: Ryan Jones

Wales veteran Ryan Jones admitted it is "hugely frustrating" to witness the ongoing exits of international players to teams outside the four regions.

Ian Evans, Lee Byrne, Mike Phillips, Paul James and James Hook have left the Ospreys over the years, with Richard Hibbard also likely to depart.

And with the ongoing saga between the Welsh Rugby Union and four regions threatening to ruin the local game, Jones has voiced his concerns.

"Let's cut to the nuts and bolts of it," the 32-year-old told Wales Online as the jumped into the mess that is the future of European competition.

"As players it is hugely frustrating. We have a relatively small player base in Wales and collectively we need to be pulling in the same direction

"I am tired of it and I know the other players are tired of it and so are the Welsh public.

"The sooner it is resolved the better but my worry is that it is going to put a scar on the domestic game that will take a while to heal.

"The clock is ticking and my fear is we won't have a genuine competitive domestic competition with competitive regions which would possibly mean we don't have a competitive national team.

"Those are the two things we want to see as a proud Welshman and Welsh rugby supporter.

He added: "It is heartbreaking to see players leave because I have a lot of friends who have gone and they have done the right thing for them.

"We have to create a domestic environment for the national team which players don't want to leave.

"We need to offer above and beyond just playing to make this happen.

"I have said it before but the stars of tomorrow need to be watching the stars of today.

"They need to be watching and playing with the likes of George North, Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny, Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones.

"These sort of characters were brought up watching and brought on by players of that ilk and were inspired by that."

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