Cuthbert turns down dual contract
Tom Hamilton in Cardiff
January 21, 2015
Alex Cuthbert was named in the 34-man squad for the Six Nations © Getty Images

Wales coach Warren Gatland has confirmed Cardiff Blues winger Alex Cuthbert has turned down an offer of a dual contract.

There are currently seven players on these contracts which are joint-funded by the Welsh Rugby Union and the individual's region. Cuthbert was offered such a deal by the WRU, with a year left on his contract, but he has turned it down.

"Alex has decided not to take a dual contract," Gatland said on Tuesday. "He has another year left on his Cardiff Blues deal.

"We offered him a contract and he turned it down for his own reasons and I am meeting with [Cardiff Blues coach] Mark Hammett to talk about it and a few other issues.

"There's no pressure on players to take dual contracts. It's offered to them and if they don't want to accept one then it offers the opportunity up to somebody else."

Cuthbert was included in the Welsh squad for the Six Nations and while Gatland said him spurning a dual contract will not affect his international chances, he went on to say those who have committed to such a deal will get the edge if it comes to a straight shootout between two candidates with similar credentials.

"It won't affect selection but there's an obvious advantage to players in terms of the number of games that they play for their region," Gatland said. "We've limited it to 16 plus semi-finals and finals but we've already got players who have played 19 games this season and look pretty tired after playing week in, week out.

"A dual contract will be good for the players and there are bigger commercial opportunities. Turning one down won't detract from a player being selected but if we've offered a player a dual contract it does probably give a very slight edge of being selected in squads because we've made a commitment to them and they've made a commitment to us."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.

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