Wales will consider Welsh-only policy
ESPN Staff
September 4, 2013
Lions flanker Dan Lydiate awaits the ball, Reds v British & Irish Lions, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, June 8, 2013
Lions flanker Dan Lydiate is one of those to have left Wales over the summer © PA Photos

Wales will consider only picking those who are playing in the country according to the chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis.

With increasing numbers of leading players heading to England and France, where the rewards are far greater, Lewis is coming under increasing pressure to act to keep the big names in Wales.

He told the BBC that he supported the idea "in principle" but added: "We have to make sure we have created the right environment, both financially and in rugby terms, to retain those players in Wales in the first place.

"We are talking together, but it's not just talk. We met again a week last Saturday at the Millennium Stadium, with the chairmen of the four regions, and the key thing is how we can plan together sustainable futures for regional rugby in Wales."

Against the backdrop of a call from Gloucester coach and former Wales international Nigel Davies to adopt a policy of refusing to pick players based outside the Welsh system, Lewis said the WRU was actively working to address the issue and defended progress that he said had been made.

"We have a clear sense of the talent in Wales. We are identifying the pool of players we need to secure for the long-term future. We have committed to putting £6.6m into the regions this year, and at the heart of that is to help them keep Welsh talent in Wales."

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