England v Wales clash in doubt as Dragons braced for player strike over contract dispute
Welsh Rugby Union is in the midst of one of its most turbulent periods in its history,
The Six Nations match between England and Wales has been plunged into doubt after reports emerged that Wales’s players were considering strike action over their stalling contract renewals.
Steve Borthwick’s England side travel to Cardiff next Saturday for their third Six Nations match, but with Wales’ players reportedly turning to antidepressants and missing out on mortgage offers due to the dispute, the third-round fixture is seemingly under threat.
The Welsh Rugby Union, which is in the midst of one of its most turbulent periods in its history, has been discussing a new budgetary deal with the country’s four regions, but an agreement is yet to be reached.
That has left a huge number of players unsure of their immediate futures, unable to sign new deals with the World Cup looming – and in the middle of a testing Six Nations period for Warren Gatland’s side.
According to reports, Gatland’s squad – who are winless so far in the Six Nations – and the rest of Wales’s professional players will meet this week to discuss possible strike action. A player who has featured in both of Wales’ matches in the Six Nations told the Daily Mail: “I can’t believe I’m five months away from the end of my contract and eight months away from the World Cup and my future isn’t certain yet.
“I can’t apply for a mortgage and I’m on antidepressants. I’m also one big injury away from not having a job in July yet I’m starting for Wales every week and the WRU is making tens of millions from international matches.”
Writing on Twitter, Wales international Willis Halaholo expressed his dismay at the situation. “Must be nice knowing you can still provide for your kids in about four months…,” wrote the five-times-capped centre.
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