The Welsh Rugby Union has been given a massive boost today in its efforts to retain the top players within the Welsh regions.
Wales captain Sam Warburton, backrow colleague Dan Lydiate and young stars Hallam Amos and Samson Lee have all signed dual contracts with their regions and the Welsh Rugby Union.
With a 160 caps between them, according to the BBC, the signing of these four players is extremely promising for the Welsh national team going forward, as well as their individual regions. Each region has a player signed with them with Warburton staying at Cardiff Blues, Lydiate at Ospreys, Lee at Scarlets and Amos at the Newport-Gwent Dragons.
All four players are expected to play important parts in Wales’ future heading forward with Warburton and Lydiate, both 28, now experienced internationals and Lee, 23, and Amos, 22, representing the future as they both gain further international experience.
This once again shows a real signal of intent from the Welsh Rugby Union to maintain their best players. Interim head coach Rob Howley has faced difficulties in selecting only three players from a provisional list of seven located outside of Wales for this autumn’s international fixtures as he has had to adhere to Gatland’s Law of only selecting three ‘wildcard’ players plying their trade outside of Wales for the international team.
This policy has seen Jamie Roberts, George North and Taulupe Faletau selected as the three chosen players for this season’s autumn internationals. Lock Luke Charteris, fullback Leigh Halfpenny and flanker Ross Moriarty amongst others are also selected despite playing outside of Wales, at Bath, Toulon and Gloucester respectively, due to their signing of contracts with teams outside of Wales before the law was brought in.
As a consequence of the rule though Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland, Japan-based lock Dominic Day, Gloucester prop Nicky Thomas and scrum-half Rhodri Williams miss out on Wales selection.
Hamish Milner, Pundit Arena