Sport The 41 players now definitely leaving their Welsh regions as squads slashed

23:06  10 june  2021
23:06  10 june  2021 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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Some 41 players will be leaving their region this summer, with only a handful being retained within Welsh rugby.

The financial implications of Covid-19 and the continued uncertainty around what level of payments will be made by the Welsh Rugby Union to the regions has made planning incredibly difficult.

It has forced some regions to rebalance their books, leading to a significant number of released players this summer.

Some players are already committed to other regions but there are some big names, particularly Cory Allen and Scott Williams, whose futures remain unclear.

On the decision to release Wales international Williams, Ospreys boss Toby Booth said: “It’s a horrific thing to have to broach. You do it as respectfully and honestly as you can – players respect honesty.

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“It’s not a nice conversation. It’s effectively a selection conversation magnified ten-fold and that’s really brutal.

“I try to be as empathetic as I can and, with certain players, try and help by giving them good references for whatever their future entails."

Leaving the Cardiff Blues, Ioan Davies and Ben Warren are joining the Dragons and Ospreys respectively.

Meanwhile, second row Matthew Screech heads from Rodney Parade to the Cardiff Blues, where he came through the ranks as an academy prospect.

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Down west, the highly-rated Jac Morgan and Osian Knott are moving from the Scarlets to the Ospreys.

Experienced campaigners Brok Harris and Lewis Evans at the Dragons, and Werner Kruger at the Scarlets, are retiring from the game, while Wales lock Jake Ball is heading to Australia to be with his family.

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A plethora of the Dragons departures are heading to the English championship in search of game time, including Arwel Robson, who once looked to be the future of the region.

Whilst there is a significant cutback in numbers, there will be some new players coming in.

The Ospreys, in particular, have been busy bringing in new talent in the form of Wales tight-head Tomas Francis and Wales-qualified back Michael Collins.

They are also reported to be interested in Welsh international Alex Cuthbert.

And when there is certainty over the regions' budgets for next season, there may well be more action, although it is extremely late in the year to be negotiating.

Cardiff Blues: Ioan Davies (Dragons), Ethan Lewis, Ioan Rhys Davies, Ben Warren (Ospreys)

Dragons: Brok Harris, Lewis Evans, Matthew Screech (Cardiff Blues), Arwel Robson, Conor Edwards, Dafydd Howells, Rhys Lawrence, Luke Baldwin, Deon Smith, Joe Goodchild, Ed Scragg, Carwyn Penny, Storm Hanekom.

Ospreys: Gareth Evans, Shaun Venter, Scott Williams, Cory Allen, Luke Price, Jordan Walters, Rhys Davies, Garyn Lloyd, Rhys Thomas, Brad Roderick, Caine Woolerton, Ben Cambriani.

Scarlets: Jake Ball, Werner Kruger, Paul Asquith, Uzair Cassiem, Dylan Evans, Ed Kennedy, Tom Phillips, Jac Morgan (Ospreys), Osian Knott (Ospreys), Pieter Scholtz, Joe Miles, Will Homer.

Wales rugby international who wowed Shaun Edwards walks away from game at 26 .
The Dragons flyer has endured many difficulties in a career that promised so much when he burst on to the international scene as an 18-year-old“I will not play professionally again. For the time being it’s an irrevocable decision.

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