Wales Vs South Africa

Wales’ out-of-window Test match against South Africa in Washington on Saturday should not be taking place, says Premiership Rugby boss Mark McCafferty.

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No English-based Welsh players have been released, with McCafferty saying it places an “unnecessary burden” on the clubs and players involved.

Under World Rugby rules, clubs are obliged to release players for games that fall in designated Test windows.

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“We’re not sure why World Rugby authorises these matches,” he said.

“It’s just messy. Defined international windows are there, and that’s when the matches should occur.”

The rules do not apply for games on the first weekend of June this year, and Premiership Rugby policy means Bath lock Luke Charteris, prop Tomas Francis of Exeter, and Worcester wing Josh Adams have all been withdrawn from the Wales squad.

McCafferty has called for the clubs to have a stronger voice in the decision-making process to avoid such situations in the future.

“We are getting into all kinds of scraps around players being released for extra Tests in June, much of which we think would be avoidable if there was a proper body under the auspices of World Rugby that involved the clubs to look at these things, and say which matches are being authorised outside the window and on what basis,” McCafferty added.

“World Rugby is still seemingly reluctant to involve the clubs from England and France as major stakeholders in the game.

“A lot of these spats could be avoided with a more co-ordinated approach. We are having a renewed push on that.

“You shouldn’t be authorising matches outside Test windows and then expecting players to be released.”