Welsh Rugby
Blues call for WRU help with Roberts
ESPN Staff
October 9, 2012
Wales' Jamie Roberts celebrates his second score of the game, Fiji v Wales, Rugby World Cup, Waikato Stadium, Taranaki, New Zealand, October 2, 2011
Jamie Roberts is a man in demand © Getty Images

Cardiff Blues CEO Richard Holland has confirmed that Welsh centre Jamie Roberts has received offers from across the Channel and he believes that if the Welsh Rugby Union cannot stump up some cash in a dual-contract agreement, then Roberts will leave the region.

Roberts, a British & Irish Lions Test centre, was reportedly a target for Toulouse at the turn of the year and is now in Racing Metro's sights. With his contract up at the end of the season, he will be a man in demand. Wales have already seen some of their best players leaving the region to journey to France with the promise of more money on offer proving to be too much of a draw.

The likes of Gethin Jenkins, James Hook, Mike Phillips, Luke Charteris and Aled Brew all turn out in the French league and Holland believes that Roberts will join them if they can't come to some compromise with the WRU that will see the organisation pay part of Roberts' wages.

"Jamie comes out of contract next June, so he has already been approached by the French clubs," Holland told Wales Online. "He's a commodity that other people want in their teams. We need to fight to try and keep him, but my resources are limited. I don't think the offer I will be able to put on the table will be enough to keep him.

"I know what sort of level I need to get to in order to retain his services and I simply haven't got it. Where else the money can come from is precisely what the current discussions between the regions and the WRU is all about. How can we offer the players something that will keep them here? At this stage, I don't know the answer.

"The benefactors have already made it clear they are not ready to put additional resources in. The WRU do give us a large chunk of money, but the fact of the matter is we haven't got enough to retain these international players. We have to stay within the £3.5m salary cap and, as a business, we can only spend what's coming in. I don't know at this stage if the WRU will come up with additional resources to keep Jamie.

"Ultimately that is their decision, not mine. But in Jamie's case and in the cases of some other guys, it absolutely needs addressing rapidly. Otherwise they will go. People are looking to get their contracts sorted before Christmas to enable them to go into next year knowing where they are going to be playing their rugby."

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