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Volume 10 No. 23
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Welsh Rugby Union Hopes Investments In Game Prevent Player From Leaving

The Welsh Rugby Union is hoping that "increased investment in coaching and facilities will help to keep their leading international players in Wales," according to John Westerby of the LONDON TIMES. The WRU’s annual report, which was published Wednesday, "shows an increased investment in facilities at the Centre of Excellence, including cryotherapy and high-altitude chambers, while negotiations have already opened with Warren Gatland, who is contracted until the 2015 World Cup." WRU CEO Roger Lewis said, "Retaining players in Wales is a huge challenge with the sums of money being bandied round by the French clubs. But we hope that the environment we create for our elite players will help to convince them to stay in Wales." The annual report shows a turnover of £61M ($98M) and a profit before tax of £2.3M ($3.7M), enabling a record investment of £22.1M ($35.5M) back into the game. The union’s healthy status "contrasts sharply with the parlous position of the regions, whose lack of financial muscle has seen a raft of leading players moving away from Wales, despite Gatland’s preference for them to remain with the regions" (LONDON TIMES, 9/25).