Six Nations: Gatland expects England game to go ahead after delaying naming Wales team

By Sports Desk February 21, 2023

Warren Gatland has delayed naming the Wales team to face England but is confident the Six Nations game will go ahead on Saturday amid uncertainty over potential strike action.

Wales players remain in a contract dispute with the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) and have been considering making themselves unavailable to do battle with England this weekend.

A new six-year financial agreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four professional regions – the Dragons, Cardiff, the Ospreys and the Scarlets – has not been signed off as talks continue.

Gatland was due to announce his team for the clash at the Principality Stadium on Tuesday but the head coach had to change his plans.

The players have reportedly stated they want the issues to be resolved by Wednesday and New Zealander Gatland expects a positive outcome.

He said when explaining why he had not named his side: "I think with the uncertainty that was happening, there's a lot of meetings. I just wanted clarity for the boys with tomorrow then we come back [to train] on Thursday.

Gatland added: "I'm confident it'll go ahead. The players have probably had about half a dozen meetings in the last few days. It's been a bit of a challenge but sometimes that galvanises people.

"The players have been given assurances that things will be sorted out, but unfortunately they have not. It finally came to a head.

"I think it's a genuine threat [of taking strike action], no doubt about that. But having spoken to a few people today, I'm fairly confident it will be resolved."

Gatland praised the professionalism shown by his players in such a period of uncertainty.

He continued: "In fairness to the players, they've trained well amongst it all. There's been things going on but in training they've applied themselves well."

Wales are bottom of the table after losing to Ireland and Scotland at the start of Gatland's second spell as head coach.

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