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Wales players to consider striking ahead of Six Nations match

Welsh rugby players will consider strike action during the week in which Wales build up to hosting England in the Six Nations in Cardiff.

The possible industrial action is an option to be raised next week at a meeting of the body representing professional players in Wales.

Wales face England on 25th February.

Welsh rugby's four professional teams can make fresh contract offers to players, but have yet to do so.

The impasse has left players who are coming out of contract at the end of 2022-23 facing uncertainty, prompting increased disquiet over their futures.

Welsh rugby's four professional teams - Scarlets, Dragons, Ospreys and Cardiff - were given permission to begin contract talks in January, 2023.

However, with no formal budgets agreed for the coming seasons, formal contract discussions appear to remain on hold.

The Welsh Rugby Union's (WRU) acting chief executive Nigel Walker has said all player contracts were likely to be completed by the end of February, 2023.

It followed an agreement in December 2022 of new six-year framework involving the nation's four professional teams to resolve the game's long-standing financial issues.

At the time, the Welsh Rugby Players Association (WRPA) welcomed the verbal agreement but called for the PRB (Professional Rugby Board) discussions to conclude "as soon as possible to ensure strong professional regional clubs" and "a successful national team".

The PRB consists of four regional representatives - Alun Jones (Cardiff Rugby), David Buttress (Dragons), Chris Lawlor (Ospreys), and Simon Muderack (Scarlets) - plus Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) acting chief executive Walker, WRU finance director Tim Moss and two independent members, independent chair Malcolm Wall and Marianne Okland.

Some players have spoken out on social media about the impact of the uncertainty around the player contract situation.

Ospreys and Wales flanker Sam Cross tweeted: "It's time players stood up for ourselves and the WRPA had a seat on the PRB allowing us to have a voice in our own futures and on how the game is run in Wales going forward."

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