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Pat Lam calls for clubs to be paid for releasing international players


Pat Lam has called on the Welsh and Scottish unions to pay Premiership clubs if they want to hold on to international players during non-playing weeks in the Six Nations.

The Bristol Bears Director of Rugby was speaking to RugbyPass about Wayne Pivac’s unhappiness with several of his English-based player having to leave the Welsh coronavirus-bubble to return to their clubs.

Pivac stated that his team would be more likely to record positive cases when his players if they were moving from one environment to another.

‘If I was in Wayne’s shoes I’d want the same’

While Lam does sympathise with Pivac, he believes there is an easy solution that will satisfy everyone’s desires.

“I totally understand. If I was in Wayne’s shoes I’d want exactly the same. No problem. Just got to pay the clubs because we pay the guys’ wages. The boys can’t afford to miss the games.

“We are paying their main wages but if the Welsh Rugby Union want to make that happen or the Scottish, all they have to do is pay the clubs for the players. But ultimately if not they have got to come back.

“It works well for the players because the players don’t really want to be, certainly Callum [Sheedy], our guys would like to come back if they are not involved.

“There is no point being 24th man in training and not playing the international game and not playing club games.

“It works well in that sense but I understand where Wayne is coming from. Certainly, if I was doing international rugby that is what I would want. In England, we do it because the RFU pay the clubs for it,” Lam commented.

Wales have announced six English-based player in their squad, while Scotland have 13-English based players, one French-based player and one Welsh-based player.

Both nations can expect to experience the most disruption to their squad for the Six Nations, as England, France and Ireland have only chosen domestic-based players, while Italy have just two foreign-based players in their squad.

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