Gatland fires warning to English-based players
May 14, 2014
Warren Gatland's frustration is obvious © Getty Images
Wales coach Warren Gatland has warned that he might consider not selecting England-based players in future after Premiership clubs warned they might not agree to a release for the May 30 Possibles v Probables match.
"It makes it difficult to select them if they're not involved," Gatland said. "Going forward, we might have to review the policy of potentially selecting England-based players if they're not going to be available. It's something we'll look closely at, particularly at the end of the season when we're preparing for tours."
The WRU only announced the game earlier this month, causing a number of Premiership sides to fall back on IRU regulations which only require players to be released in certain periods.
"Players that have gone to France, some of them have negotiated full release and that's helpful," Gatland said. "But at the moment, apart from George North who has got that, it's sometimes difficult with players coming from England."
Although North has a release clause, Northampton were fined £60,000 by Premiership Rugby when he was allowed to play against Australia last November as the match fell outside the IRB window.
North may be involved in the Premiership final the day after the trial match, which would rule him out of the Welsh game.
"We've been in contact with Premier Rugby to say we're going to name the players in the squad," Gatland said. "We're just hoping that common sense prevails and those players that are finished for the season are released.
"I can understand Premier Rugby protecting their competition, but I don't understand when players are finished for the season why they wouldn't be available. I hope there's some goodwill in the game."
Gavin Henson, handed an unlikely international lifeline after a good season at Bath, is one who will be hoping his club - not involved in the end-of-season play-offs - will agree to let him play. "He's just one of 52 players and he's got a chance,"Gatland said. "He's just got to make the most of his opportunity."
Forwards: Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Owen Evans (Dragons), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (Captain), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Bristol), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Blues), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons).
Backs: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Jon Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Gavin Henson (Bath), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Liam Williams (Scarlets).
Forwards: Paul James (Bath), Phil Price (Dragons), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Blues), Kristian Dacey (Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Scott Andrews (Blues), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Macauley Cook (Blues), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), James Davies (Scarlets), Dan Baker (Ospreys).
Backs: Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys), Harry Robinson (Blues), Owen Williams (Leicester), Steven Shingler (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Blues), Jonathan Spratt (Ospreys), Tom Prydie (Dragons), Jordan Williams (Scarlets).
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