Six Nations 2023: Wales will play match against England despite threat of strike action

Breaking news

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’ Six Nations match against England will go ahead after the Welsh players decided against strike action.

Saturday’s game in Cardiff was in doubt with players threatening not to turn up because of a dispute with Welsh rugby bosses over contracts.

On Tuesday, Wales head coach Warren Gatland had said he was confident the matter would be resolved despite delaying naming his side and cancelling training.

Gatland now names his side on Thursday.

Had the game been called off it would have cost the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) almost £10m.

Gatland revealed a training session on Tuesday afternoon had been cancelled so players could continue negotiations and admitted the strike threat was genuine.

The Wales players had set a deadline of Wednesday for the issues to be resolved.

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

The PRB, including chair Malcolm Wall, WRU acting chief executive Nigel Walker and regional bosses, then met more than 100 of Wales’ professional players in the Vale of Glamorgan hotel, which is the national squad’s training base.

Walker and Wall attended a virtual WRU board meeting before a further meeting with Wales captain Ken Owens.

The Wales players wanted three issues resolved before they agreed to take the pitch at the Principality Stadium.

They were seeking:

  • 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.

A compromise package has been reached and the 60-cap will be reduced to 25.

Players and agents will have the option of a fixed contract or a fixed and variable deal.

More to follow.

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