Wales Selection Policy Has Been Renewed

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Wales’ Head Coach Warren Gatland and WRU CEO Martyn Phillips have today announced that ‘Gatland’s Law’ has been ended and Wales will be introducing a new selection policy. The updated law states that a player can play for a club outside of Wales and still be considered for selection providing they have 60 caps to their name.

Wales Selection Policy is a Must

Players must now have played for Wales at least 60 times to be able to play their domestic rugby outside of the four Welsh Regions and still be eligible for selection. This has created a situation where players currently outside of Wales may have to move back at the end of their current contracts. Ross Moriarty (17 caps) and Liam Williams (43 caps) both currently play their game in England, but have less than the required 60 caps. This means that following their current contract expiry they will either have to have played 60 games for their country or return to a Welsh Region.

Talaupe Faletau, Jamie Roberts and George North have all surpassed 60 caps and so will be able to remain with their clubs whilst playing for Wales.

Some may claim this is harsh, but in reality the selection policy is not only there to help Wales field a strong side, it is in place to aid the Regions in their bid to retain key players. This will certainly ensure that it happens over time. Rhys Webb has come under huge social media talk this afternoon amidst the news that he will fall short of the 60 caps by some margin before he moves to Toulon next summer. Simon Thomas at WalesOnline got an exclusive interview with Webb who told Thomas:

“I didn’t know the full implications when I agreed to join Toulon because the change in the selection policy came out after I signed.

I have given ten years service to the Ospreys and Welsh rugby and have picked up injuries along the way. I would have hoped that would have been taken into consideration.”

The policy needed to bite or it would become a shambles just like the original players’ selection policy, or ‘Gatland’s Law’. It is just unfortunate for Rhys Webb that it appears he will become the first victim of the change.

Fans on social media are split on the decision with just over half declaring it was a good move by the Welsh Rugby Union. Continue to vote on the poll below.

 

Dan Biggar is also leaving the Ospreys next summer with 56 caps to his name as of today. However, before he leaves Wales will play nine more tests thus providing he takes part in just four of those he will not be captured under the new policy.

Selection Policy Aims to Protect Welsh Rugby’s Future

This is certainly going to take around two season’s before we see the full extent on who decides to come back to Wales. However, this is sure to set out a precedent that like in Ireland, England and New Zealand who all have their own individual selection policies, Wales can compete at retaining it’s talent despite it’s financial disparity compared to it’s French and English neighbours.

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