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Rugby News: Dual Contracts Near Completion in Wales

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Warren GatlandWarren Gatland the Wales boss hopes he will have the first dual contracted players in the country signed within the next month.

A number of Test players are ready to sign their contracts that will be funded by the Welsh Rugby Union and the four professional regional clubs in the country.

This initiative makes up a part of a six-year agreement that Welsh Rugby Union and the regions set up after in fighting for months.

Just over £3.3 million is set to be used for the funding of the contracts for national players annually, with WRU contributing 60% and the regions the other 40%.

Sam Warburton the skipper for Wales has switched already to a dual contract from a central one, while a number of other teammates could be amongst many who will sign dual deals.

There is a limited amount of money but Gatland hopes there can be as many as 15 players signed to dual contracts and that those players excited about signing them.

Several of the top players in Wales have opted to leave Wales to play in England and France.

However, Gatland believes the introduction of the dual contracts could see that market trend reverse itself.

Gatland understands why certain players would like to play in France or England for a period, with money being the biggest attraction. However, he believes the dual contracts will help convince some players to stay or those that have left to eventually return. The Wales boss knows that the money is limited and unfortunately the contracts in rugby like everywhere else do not go down but up and that means less players will get dual contracts moving forward.

Gatland also revealed the plans that Wales has ahead of the World Cup next year. The club will training in Qatar and Switzerland.

The Switzerland camp is high-altitude and in Qatar, it is a warm weather setup. Two weeks are planned for Switzerland, while the length of stay in Qatar has not been determined.

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