Warren Gatland Lays Into Premiership Rugby As Player Row Continues


“A sad indictment on the politics of the game.”

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is far from happy with Premiership Rugby after their latest player row ahead of last weekend’s Test in Washington with the Springboks.

Gatland was unable to call on the services of Josh Adams, Tomas Francis and Luke Charteris for the game against South Africa, with Premiership Rugby refusing to release them outside of World Rugby’s designated Test window.

The Wales boss says it’s a ‘sad indictment on the politics of the game’ and pointed out that Wales are only playing three games – the same as everyone else, and that the club season was completely finished.

“Every other country is playing three games – England are playing four – and we finish our tour a week earlier than them,” Gatland said.

“I understand completely what PRL are trying to do in the autumn when we organise a fourth international. They’re protecting their own competition.

“Players go back during the Six Nations down weeks and I understand that too, but I just can’t understand why they would stop players from joining us a week or two early.

“The club season is finished and the players are going to be back with their clubs early anyway. It’s a sad indictment on the politics of the game.

“I understand and accept completely the views on the other stuff, but this one just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Gatland has since called up Adams and Francis to his squad for the two Tests against Argentina, with Steff Evans picking up a serious knee injury and Samson Lee suffering with back problems.


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