Next LIVE rugby on TV
to be announced
Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:30:05 +0000
  • Switch Edition
ESPN SCRUM / Wales / News
Follow@ESPNSCRUM
Wales
Warburton signs historic WRU deal
ESPN Staff
January 25, 2014
Warburton signing the deal alongside WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis © Wales Rugby Union
Enlarge

Wales and British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has signed a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).

The news is a huge lift for Welsh rugby following the confirmation of Leigh Halfpenny's departure for French giants Toulon - and another coup following Alun-Wyn Jones' decision to stay in Wales with Ospreys. The deal ensures Warburton stays on home soil, where he will be leased back to current side Cardiff Blues for domestic duty outside of international fixtures.

Under the arrangement his salary will be paid by the WRU, who intend that he will be released free of charge for his Cardiff duties.The 25-year-old becomes the first player to sign a contract with the WRU.

It is unclear what the Cardiff's response to this will be, as current regional policy is to not select any player who is centrally contracted.

The news is a relief to the board who had seen similar offers to Leigh Halfpenny and Alun Wyn Jones rebuffed. Others in the frame - such as Adam Jones, Scott Williams and Rhys Priestland - have yet to make a decision.

Roger Lewis, the chief executive of the WRU, said the deal was a landmark moment in the history of Welsh rugby. "This is all about us working together in the best interests of rugby in Wales and I am sure this will be remembered as an important moment for rugby in Wales. What we want is for every young rugby fan in Wales to emulate players like Sam Warburton."

But former WRU chief executive, who has made clear his desire for change, slammed the board's central contracts agenda, calling it "dumb" and adding: "They have gone into competition with the regions for their players. The agents of those players have said: 'That's terrific. Now we'll get more money for our clients'."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - United States GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Darts - European Championship
    Golf - McGladrey Classic
    Golf - Perth International
    Tennis - Swiss Indoors
    Tennis - Valencia Open
    Tennis - WTA Finals
  • Rugby

    Eagles coach wants 'blood and guts'

    US Eagles coach Mike Tolkin has called on his side to leave nothing on Soldier Field bar "blood and guts" when they face the All Blacks on Saturday

  • Formula 1

    Sauber 'disturbed' by state of F1

    Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the way in which Formula One has dealt with the collapse of the grid's two smallest teams is "disturbing"

  • Tennis

    Federer cruises as Djokovic sets up Murray tie

    Roger Federer maintained pressure on Novak Djokovic in the race for world No.1 status after a 6-4 6-4 win against Lucas Pouille earned him a place in the last eight at the Paris Masters, before the Serb saw off Gael Monfils to set up a clash with Andy Mur

  • Rugby

    Burgess ready for Bath challenge

    Sam Burgess has revealed his high-profile, six-figure switch of rugby codes was based on "the challenge" that will await him - and not next year's World Cup in England

  • Formula 1

    Rosberg on full attack mode for three races

    Nico Rosberg says the gloves can come off completely in his duel with Lewis Hamilton at the United States Grand Prix now Mercedes has wrapped up the constructors' championship

Sponsored Links
Make $170 in 60 seconds!
Google Vs Facebook, 60 sec. knock out! Choose a champion, Become a Winner!
Make $25 in 1 Minute!
Start trading with the biggest broker! Register now to receive $25 for FREE!