Six Nations 2023: Warren Gatland delays naming Wales side to face England

L-R: Wales scrum-halves Tomos Williams and Kieran Hardy with Warren Gatland before kick off against Scotland in the 2023 Six Nations at Murrayfield
Warren Gatland is in his second stint as Wales head coach after replacing Wayne Pivac in December 2022
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 25 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and Radio 5 Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app. Highlights and analysis, Scrum V Six Nations, BBC Two Wales, Sunday, 26 February and later on demand.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has delayed naming his side to face England for the under-threat Six Nations match on Saturday in Cardiff.

Gatland was due to name his side on Tuesday, but that has been postponed.

The match remains in doubt with Wales’ players threatening to strike in a dispute with Welsh rugby bosses over contracts.

The Wales players have set a deadline of Wednesday, 22 February to have the issues resolved.

There will be a meeting on Wednesday between the players and the Professional Rugby Board (PRB), which runs the professional game in Wales and is made up of representatives from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and four regions – Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets.

The players want three issues resolved before they agree to take the field at Principality Stadium for a match worth close to £10m for Welsh rugby.

They would like:

  • Wales Rugby Players Association (WRPA) representation at PRB meetings.
  • The removal of the contentious 60-cap selection rule in Wales whereby a player plying his trade outside the country cannot be picked unless he has made at least that number of Test appearances.
  • The removal of Welsh rugby bosses’ demands that players accept 80% in set wages with 20% available in bonuses.

PRB chair Malcolm Wall has said the 60-cap is under review, but stated his organisation was intent on pressing ahead with the fixed/variable contracts which mean players are only guaranteed 80%.

Wall also said the PRB will invite the WRPA to be represented at meetings.

Wales have lost their opening two Six Nations games against Scotland and Ireland and conceded nine tries and 69 points, with their struggling attack only resulting in two tries.

England find themselves in a similar situation to Wales, with Steve Borthwick replacing Eddie Jones as head coach around the same time Gatland returned to Wales at the expense of Wayne Pivac.

England began with a home defeat by Scotland before beating Italy at Twickenham.

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