Sam Warburton, the Wales national rugby team captain, is currently in limbo as a casualty of the ongoing dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four professional regions. Although he has always played for the Cardiff Blues throughout his professional career, last season he became the first (and so far only) player to be put on a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). However, for the past several months the WRU and the four regions have been in a dispute over the renewal of their agreement which determines funding for the regions and how players are released for international duty.
I sincerely hope that the WRU and the four regions can resolve their differences. It is ridiculous that such a prominent player as Sam Warburton should be precluded from playing for his region because of this dispute, and Welsh rugby runs the risk of reversing the successes of the last 3 or so years in our national team if this dispute is allowed to rumble on. With barely more than a year until next year’s World Cup, the WRU and four regions need to resolve their differences sooner rather than later so that Warburton can return to playing regular rugby for the Blues, and the four regions can work with the WRU to ensure both regional and national success for our national game.