Welsh Rugby
Regions to make complaint
PA Sport
November 6, 2008

Wales' four professional regions are to lodge an official complaint to the International Rugby Board about the Welsh Rugby Union.

Regional Rugby Wales - the umbrella organisation representing Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, the Scarlets and Ospreys - claim the WRU have failed to "adequately consult" them over draft proposals for a new IRB regulation nine. It is the regulation which covers release of players for international duty, and is currently undergoing a major IRB review.

Barely a fortnight ago, the WRU obtained a High Court ruling to have players released from their regions for three days of national squad training last week. RRW say the IRB issued their proposals for a new draft regulation to all domestic unions on October 14.

Unions have until tomorrow to respond, but RRW claim the WRU only circulated those draft proposals to the regions on Monday, adding: "They (WRU) have yet to offer any basis on which the Union intends to consult with the regions."

RRW's interim chief executive David Moffett said: "We are astonished by the failure of the WRU to adequately consult with the regions over regulation nine, especially as they have been given a direct instruction to do so by the game's governing body. We will now be making a formal complaint to the IRB highlighting the WRU's lack of consultation, which has made a mockery of a critical process on a critical matter.

"Regulation nine is, without doubt, the single issue of greatest significance to northern hemisphere rugby today."

The latest spat between regions and WRU comes as Wales prepare to tackle world champions South Africa in Cardiff on Saturday. And Wales coach Warren Gatland could lose three of his 32-man squad for the autumn series finale against Australia on November 29.

Because that game falls outside the IRB autumn Test window, English clubs' organisation Premier Rugby say Sale Sharks pair Dwayne Peel and Eifion Roberts, together with Gloucester scrum-half Gareth Cooper, will not be made available. Sale play Leicester that weekend, with Gloucester hosting Northampton.

The WRU claim Sale have told them Peel will be available to face the Wallabies, but Gatland could conceivably find himself without his three top scrum-halves - Peel, Cooper and the injured Mike Phillips - for Australia's visit.

© Scrum.com

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