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Number of Welsh players set to move abroad and walk away from WRFU

BY Luke Stockwell  ·  Thursday Mar 2, 2023

In the past week a raft of talented Welsh players have all been linked with moves away from their home country – we look at the latest rumours and why this is happening.

Since the news broke about the instability in Welsh rugby, it has been clear that the state of the game in Wales has been on the very knife edge of breaking down completely.

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The national side has had huge issues, with players on the verge of striking over pay and treatment before last minute talks saved the Wales v England clash.

A side effect of the issues the WRFU face is that many of their highly ranked players will leave Wales to play for clubs that can offer financial and career stability – unsurprising when over 70 players based in Wales do not have a contract for next season.

On the flip side, the 4 Welsh regions will likely be looking to cut some of their highest paid players as they all face extreme financial struggle.

The current agreement for players in the Welsh international side is that the WRFU will pay 80% of their wage and the region pay 20% – but the regions are finding this very hard to fulfill.

A large transfer fee from a European or Southern Hemisphere club could be exactly what a Welsh side needs at the moment.

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The Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA) have alluded to the issue and have stated that they expect players to leave Wales if they are given large pay cuts.

This has lead to many forecasting an exodus of Welsh talent moving to play for clubs in other countries, and in the past week this forecast seems to becoming true.

So here is a roundup of the rumours that are already circulating:

  • Liam Williams is believed to be weighing up his options in both France and Japan and is likely to move on from Adams Park.
  • Ross Moriarty is highly expected to leave Welsh Rugby with Bayonne leading the race currently.
  • Jarrod Evans to Harlequins – This deal is already very advanced and expected to be announced formally in the upcoming weeks.
  • Josh Adams – Adams finds himself in a very similar situation as Liam Williams, Cardiff will struggle to pay their portion of his wage so may look on a transfer fee favourably. Adams is linked with a move to France, more specifically Lyon.
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