Welsh boss slams ‘vultures’

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 14:55
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The vultures have been circling for months

Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Chief Executive Roger Lewis has expressed his disdain for "vultures" who are recruiting Wales' leading players.

Wales flank Dan Lydiate is the latest Welsh international to announce his imminent departure, likely to France’s Top 14, a competition home to Welsh stars Mike Phillips, James Hook, Lee Byrne, Luke Charteris and Huw Bennett.

Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts, who will be out of action for up to six weeks because of an elbow injury, also recently announced that he will continue his career at Racing Metro next year.

Lewis said halting the exodus of top players will be one of the key objectives of the newly formed Professional Regional Game Board (PRGB).

"These are tough economic times in Wales and Welsh rugby is under attack," Lewis told Walesonline.

"The vultures have been circling for months, picking off Welsh players like pieces of meat.

"The announcement by the WRU and the four regions of the creation of the PRGB means that we will work together to tackle this issue.

"I am particularly concerned about the role played by agents in this player-drain from Wales."

The PRGB, seemingly, are in a race against time according to comments made by Ospreys tighthead Adam Jones.

Jones noted that players coming off a strong British and Irish Lions tour next year will be the main targets of wealthy clubs and will find it difficult to turn down lucrative offers.   

"I don't know, it is something I will have to think about," Jones said in response to whether he would join the exodus.

"I have another year left on my contract after this and obviously if you go on the Lions tour and do well then you put yourself in the shop window.

"There are so many things you have to think about, especially when you have a young family, but I know James Hook has gone out to Perpignan and loved it.

"I would never say never, though at the moment I am happy with the Ospreys.

"I think we have gone about things in the right way in the last couple of years."