9 Sep 2009

Welsh regions agree to release players for internationals

6:01 am on 9 September 2009

The Welsh Rugby Union has resolved the row over the release of players for the national team after increasing the money it gives the country's four rugby regions.

The WRU says it's negotiated a five-year agreement with Regional Rugby Wales, which represents the Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Scarlets and Ospreys club sides, to secure the participation of players in national team games outside the international test window.

The WRU and RRW had been set for a hearing at the High Court this week to determine whether the union was entitled to pick players from the regions for the November 7th match against New Zealand.

The bodies were embroiled in a similar standoff last year.

The new agreement allows Wales to play as many as 13 internationals a year and another two non-international tour games.

The regions, which will now each receive 14 million dollars per year rather than the 8 and a half million , will have to release players 13 days before each tournament.