Wales
Top Wales players set to miss World Cup training camps
ESPN Staff
April 15, 2015
Richard Hibbard in action
Richard Hibbard in action© Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Wales will be without most of their Aviva Premiership-based players for a pre-World Cup training camp in July.

World Rugby's code state that clubs are only obliged to release players 35 days before the start of the tournament, while Premiership Rugby's policy is "to release players within the rules".

That means the likes of Gloucester's Richard Hibbard and new Bath signing Rhys Priestland will not be available until the day before Wales' first warm-up game against Ireland on August 8.

But George North, whose club Northampton were fined £60,000 in December 2013 after allowing him to play for Wales outside an international window, is unaffected.

Wales will hold July training camps in Qatar and Switzerland before warm-up fixtures against Ireland and Italy. The Welsh Rugby Union has an agreements with Wales' four regional sides that allows players to join up with the national squad outside official Test windows.

However, Welsh players based in France could face similar problems to those plying their trade in England. If French clubs follow the lead of their English counterparts and refuse to release players early, the likes of Jamie Roberts, Luke Charteris and Mike Phillips (all Racing Metro), Jonathan Davies (Clermont) and Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon) could be unavailable for the training camps.

© ESPN Staff

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