English clubs 'highly unlikely' to agree borrowing Wales stars

Last Updated: 08/01/14 4:14pm

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Cardiff, Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton

Cardiff, Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton

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English club chiefs would be "highly unlikely" to ratify the Welsh Rugby Union loaning a host of top stars to Aviva Premiership clubs.

That is the view of Phil Winstanley, the Rugby Director at Premiership Rugby.

The WRU have offered six international stars central contracts, to counter the four regional sides' threat of defecting to a new Anglo-Welsh league.

The regions are refusing to sign a new participation agreement for next term, to continue under WRU control.

The WRU is understood to be considering loaning six top stars, including Cardiff's Wales and British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, to frontline clubs in England.

Welsh bosses have even mooted setting up new regional outfits to compete in the RaboDirect Pro12 should the Scarlets, Blues, Dragons and Ospreys withdraw from the Celtic League.

The WRU would be prepared to keep their top internationals fresh for Test rugby through loans at Premiership clubs, while their new franchises developed.

Winstanley has been quick to shrug off the scheme though.

When asked if Premiership Rugby could countenance the WRU plan.

"I hadn't heard about that, but if they were to do that, then I wouldn't have thought that that would be something we would support.

"I can't comment specifically on what the WRU are planning, but whether or not we see it fit to effectively take those players on loan, I would think it highly unlikely."

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