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Gatland’s Law

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Back in 2008, WRU brought in a ruling to try to stop the flow of Welsh players from the country. The basics to the ruling is that if a decision had to be made between a Welsh based player and a player not based in the principality and it was a 50/50 decision, then the selection would favour the Welsh based player.
A few players international careers faltered with this ruling, players such as scrum half, Dwayne Peel, utility back James Hook, full back, Lee Byrne and lock forward Ian Evans, who took the professional decision to move away from Wales to earn their trade elsewhere, their international places were taken by Mike Phillips, Rhys Priestland, Leigh Halfpenny and Jake Ball respectively, who at the time were all home based players, and in Wales view, similar abilities to those they were replacing.
Where the law falls down in my view, is where you have players who are vital to the international set up, and they know this, are able to continue to play for Wales, safe in the knowledge, they will not be deselected by their country, players such as Jamie Roberts, George North Jonathan Davies and Leigh Halfpenny, who are playing outside of Wales on big contracts, also playing for Wales.
We have a situation currently, where Taulupe Faletau, is employed by the Newport Gwent Dragons until the summer 2016, has been approached by Bath RFC, to play for them, and they are also willing to pay a transfer fee to release him from his contract.

When Warren Gatland, the Welsh coach was quizzed on this, he stated that the Gatland Law did not apply in this instance as the player has been pursued by Bath RFC, so has not actively looked for a move from the Dragons. This to me seems like a very confusing situation, have they adapted the ruling as Faletau is vital to Wales, would they take the same approach say with Alex Cuthbert if a team came to the Cardiff Blues, offering a transfer fee, with players such as Liam Williams, Eli Walker, George North and Leigh Halfpenny more than capable of playing his position for Wales?
For me similarly to England, they need to make a decision to implement the ruling or not, for me at moment too subjective, and needs a decision to be made.

rugby union wales Warren Gatland

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