Jamie Roberts: Welsh Rugby Union deal is a step forward

 

Wales centre Jamie Roberts has hailed the country’s new £60m agreement – despite the fact it could hinder his international prospects.

The

deal

ended two years of instability and favours home-based players.

Overseas-based stars such as the Racing Metro back can only represent Wales if coach Warren Gatland makes an exception.

But the 27-year-old Lion said: “People want to go down the terraces and talk about rugby rather than politics.”

The package agreed between the Welsh Rugby Union and the regions in August is aimed at keeping star players in Wales.

In recent years there has been an exodus of Wales players moving to clubs in England and France, including Roberts’

team-mate in Paris Dan Lydiate,

Leigh Halfpenny moving to Toulon

and

Northampton signing George North.

Wales’ management has

compiled a list of more than 50 players

who are being considered for dual contracts and WRU chief executive Roger Lewis said this includes players they want to bring home from overseas.

The 60-times capped Roberts said: “The main thing is that people can concentrate on rugby now.

“These central contracts, I think it’s great for the Welsh guys who are playing their club rugby in Wales.

“They know if they sign these dual contracts they’ll be looked after in regards to how many games they’ll play for their regions, they’ll certainly be fresh for international rugby.”

The Top 14 season in France is well underway and Racing Metro sit 10th after two wins and two draws.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/29168709

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