Planet Rugby

Blues offer Warburton 200k contract

25th January 2014 13:07

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Sam Warburton Wales training 2013

Plenty to ponder: Sam Warburton

Cardiff have offered Sam Warburton a £200,000-a-year contract to stay at the region, with an offer from the Welsh Rugby Union also being considered by the flanker.

After the departure of Leigh Halfpenny to Toulon the Blues are determined to ensure Warburton does not follow suit. According to the Guardian Warburton is 'close' to signing a central contract with the WRU - believed to be in the region of £270,000 a year - but Cardiff are hopeful the flanker will sign with them instead.

Cardiff don't want to go higher with their figure because Warbuton tends to make more international than regional appearances in a season. His Wales team-mate Alun-Wyn Jones turned down a WRU central contract, and offers from English and French clubs, in favour of an extension with Ospreys.

One of the key differences between the regions and the WRU is the idea of central contracts and for a group of Wales players - though that will look increasingly unlikely if Warburton decides to accept his region's deal. The regions are still yet to sign a new participation agreement with the WRU, with divisions existing over control, Europe and a mooted Anglo-Welsh League, as well as the issue of central deals for Wales' biggest stars.

Cardiff CEO Richard Holland feels that the lack of clarity about the future of domestic rugby in Wales is making it virtually impossible to get deals done with players such as Warburton.

"We have made Sam our best offer," Holland revealed.

"Everyone is aware that the WRU has made offers to several players and meetings are taking place daily between the regions and the players.

"We are at the point when we should be starting to sell season-tickets, but as we have no idea what tournaments we are going to be playing in we cannot and it will hit our cash flow. It is madness."

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