Wales CANCEL team announcement for their clash with England

Wales vs England now in MAJOR doubt as the hosts CANCEL their Six Nations team announcement, with players threatening to strike in a contract row that has left Welsh rugby in chaos

  • Wales had planned to announce their team today for the match against England
  • They have now cancelled the announcement, pushing it back to later this week 
  • The players are threatening strike action in a disagreement over contracts

Wales cancelled their planned team announcement for Saturday’s crunch Six Nations with England at the 11th hour on Tuesday – leaving the game in serious doubt as their players continue to still threaten strike action.

Head coach Warren Gatland had planned to name his side for the Principality Stadium clash at midday, but that has now been put back to later in the week.

The rescheduling is the latest development in what has been an unprecedented week in the 142-year history of Welsh rugby. It is no exaggeration to say the country’s national game is in chaos.

Wales’ Six Nations players are still threatening to strike for the England game due to the fact the Welsh Rugby Union and its four regions have yet to officially sign a new six-year funding agreement.

The result of that has been contractual uncertainty for those players in Wales whose deals are expiring at the end of the season.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has cancelled his team announcement for Saturday’s game

Wales will face a crunch day on Wednesday when all professional players will meet

On Wednesday, every professional player in Wales will attend a crunch meeting with representatives of Welsh rugby’s professional rugby board where discussions will centre on how to avoid a strike.

The players have set a deadline of Wednesday for their demands to be met. They want the abolishment of the controversial 60-cap rule, the removal of a variable element of their contracts and a player voice at PRB level.

So far, only one of those requirements has been met which is why the strike threat issued by the players and as first revealed by Sportsmail remains very much real.

If the players do strike and the England match does not take place, it would cost Welsh rugby a sum in the region of £9m.

The fixture is also scheduled for prime-time broadcast on BBC and a further financial penalty would be likely if the game does not go ahead. 

The decision by Wales to push back their team announcement from its planned Tuesday lunchtime time slot must be considered a reflection of the fact the England game remains in huge doubt.

To avoid a strike, the players made three main demands. Among them was the abolishment of Welsh rugby’s controversial 60-cap rule and removing the variable element of proposed player contracts. 

It is understood neither of those two matters was resolved on Monday. On Sunday night, Welsh rugby’s professional rugby board chair Malcolm Wall said an announcement on the 60-cap rule would be imminent. 

Wales captain Ken Owens lines up with the other five Six Nations captains last month


Rugby players in Wales are unhappy at the contractual uncertainty that has gripped the country this season with those whose contracts are expiring at the end of the campaign unable to be offered new ones.

That is because the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions – Dragons, Cardiff, Ospreys and Scarlets – have yet to come to official agreement on a new, six-year funding model.

Now, the players are threatening to strike unless their three demands are met. These are:

– Abolishment of the 60-cap rule which restricts players from playing domestic rugby outside of Wales and also featuring at international level unless they have that number of Test appearances. UNRESOLVED

– A voice at Professional Rugby Board meetings. RESOLVED

– A change from the plans to top up basic wages with bonuses based around things such as appearances fees and a fee for winning a game. UNRESOLVED

The 60-cap rule restricts players from playing domestic rugby outside of Wales and also featuring at international level unless they have that number of Test appearances.

If the 60-cap rule is abolished, it would be a watershed moment for Welsh rugby as it would allow its best players to seek more lucrative moves abroad. The likely result would be an exodus of top Wales talent to countries like France and Japan, where salaries are far higher for players. 

The same is true to a degree in England although the tightening of the Gallagher Premiership’s salary cap to £5million-a-team means money is also limited there. 

Wall also confirmed there had been a resolution on the third playing demand which was for them to have a player representative at PRB level. It is understood Welsh Rugby Players’ Association chief executive Gareth Lewis will be able to sit at PRB meetings starting this week but will not be a voting member. 

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