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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Wales captain Warburton could be clubless as civil war continues

The 25-year-old is facing the possibility of having no club side for the start of the season.

25-year-old Warburton will be worried by the ongoing dispute.
25-year-old Warburton will be worried by the ongoing dispute.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SAM WARBURTON IS facing the prospect of going into the 2014/15 season without a club team to play for, as the civil war in Welsh rugby continues.

The national team captain signed a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union [WRU] in January and it was intended that he would continue playing for the Cardiff Blues.

However, all four Welsh regional sides have signed a ”legally-binding agreement” that prevents them from picking players on central contracts. A spokesperson for Regional Rugby Wales [RRW], the umbrella body for the regions, confirmed the existence of the clause to the BBC.

Discussions between the RRW and WRU to agree a new participation deal broke down on Friday, when the former organisation released a statement lamenting the failure of a long series of “indescribably tortuous” meetings to yield results.

The WRU issued a counter-statement saying they were “saddened and surprised” at the RRW’s words.

June 30 saw the previous participation agreement between the RRW and WRU expire.

As the situation stands, the regional sides will not field any player who is centrally contracted and, as such, Warburton may be without a club for the start of the season unless the two bodies can finally end their long-running dispute.

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Murray Kinsella

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