Wales could be without some of their biggest names for their summer tour of New Zealand.
Like many other nations, the Welsh Rugby Union have put in place rules limiting the number of overseas based players selected in the Wales squad.
Otherwise known as Gatland’s law, the WRU Senior Players Selection Policy limits the coach of the national team to selecting only two foreign based players in 2016, and three in 2017.
As a result, The Rugby Paper have claimed, Wales could be without four of their biggest stars for their summer tour of New Zealand.
The players in question are Jamie Roberts, George North, Luke Charteris, Tomas Francis, Rhys Priestland and Taulupe Faletau who joins Bath in June.
As the article states that each of the above players turned down offers to play in Wales, they now face the prospect of being dropped from Warren Gatland’s squad.
While such a policy will no doubt hit hurt Welsh rugby in the short term, it appears that the WRU will maintain it’s hard line stance, with a WRU source telling The Rugby Paper,
The rules are very clear, Those players employed outside Wales who turned down offers to return to Wales before joining clubs in England know the consequences.
The offers to come back to Wales were deemed to be fair in terms of providing market value.
Some players have already been told that from the end of this season they will be classed as wild cards.
And the head coach can only pick two of those in any squad irrespective of the size of that squad.
The list of players could grow over the course of the summer, when Alex Cuthbert becomes a free agent in May.
Nevertheless, Warren Gatland’s hand will be strengthened with the likes of Jonathan Davies and Rhys Gill returning to Wales from Clermont and Saracens respectively.
Indeed, Although Leigh Halfpenny is rumoured to be staying at Toulon for another year, he will not fall foul of Gatland’s law, as his contract with the French club contained an optional third year.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena