Wales players stage mass walk-out protest as bitter dispute deepens
The ongoing dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and its players over contracts has hit a new low with it being reported that the Wales squad walked out of a sponsor event in Cardiff on Wednesday evening.
The Times reports that Warren Gatland’s squad were required to turn up to a dinner organised for sponsors, and those who have boxes at the Principality Stadium.
It’s believed the squad were not keen to attend the event at the Parkgate Hotel, which is owned by the Welsh Rugby Union. while they mull over a strike over proposed pay cuts.
However, the agreed to attend before leaving together early to make a statement.
The Times reports that the squad stayed to listen to a question and answer session with Gatland’s new coaching staff, but then all left after the starters had been served, causing great embarrassment for the WRU.
The event then continued without the Wales players, with on-lookers said to be stunned by the mass action.
WRU boss Nigel Walker had earlier met with senior members of the squad where it was reiterated that there would no room for manoeuvre on its pay plans.
Under the new payment structure wages would drop across the board, with only 80 per cent of salaries guaranteed. Top players would earn a maximum of £278,000, down from around £400,000.
The WRU had issued a statement addressing the dispute over players’ contracts which has resulted in Welsh players threatening a strike ahead of the Six Nations game with England, but said: “The cold facts are that the WRU and clubs have been paying salaries that their businesses cannot afford.”
Nevertheless, the mass walk out by Wales players at the WRU sponsor event appears to have only strengthened players’ resolve to show an united front as the row rumbles on.
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Luckily for them not being payed via results at the moment.
Actually they dont know if they’ll still be being paid at all in 4 months time. So its not surprising results have been poor – the surprise is that theyve bothered to turn out for Wales at all given how badly theyve been treated by the wru.
The WRU couldn’t organise a party in a brewery!! It’s an amateur organisation for amateur rugby. The clubs need to leave professional rugby to the professionals and focus on the amateur and semi-pro rugby played in the league. I suspect the clubs will be quite happy to acquiesce once the Wales Men’s team have suffered a couple of years of embarrassing defeats, but they could avoid all of that by agreeing to the changes proposed plus forcing the WRU to give the Regions more autonomy going forward.
Anyway folks, the really uplifting news is that our truly beloved Prince William and Princess Katharine will be attending the England match. Cue lots of camera angles of them smiling and clapping. After the match they will console “plucky Wales” as the sycophantic WRU reps act obsequiously all around them.