Rugby Union

Ken Owens frustrated with Welsh rugby dispute

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Scarlets hooker Ken Owens has admitted his frustration at the ongoing disagreement between the Welsh Rugby Union and the Four Regions ahead of the new season.

The WRU and the regions - which comprises of the Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets - are at the centre of a dispute surrounding financing and releasing players for Welsh international matches.

Owens, who has 26 caps for Wales, feels the issue needs to be sorted sooner rather than later as it is weighing on the players minds.


"It is frustrating from a player's point of view because we can't really influence it," the 27-year old told BBC Sport.

"There is obviously discussion because it's all we're hearing about at the moment.

"We've just got to leave it in the hands of the people at the top and they'll make a decision on what's best for Welsh rugby. Hopefully it can get sorted soon and we can all get back to talking about the rugby."

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Future problems

The lack of an agreement between the two parties thus far could cause future problems for Welsh rugby, and Wales second row Luke Charteris has even opted to remain in France rather than make a return to the Dragons as a result.

Wales are due to face South Africa on November 29 and because the match falls outside the International Rugby Board's Test match window, clubs from the four regions would not be obliged to release their players for international duty.

Owens said: "It's completely out of the players' control at the moment and we hope that a resolution can be found and the players aren't going to end up in that difficult situation. The focus is taken away from rugby.

"At this time of the year we should all be getting excited about the new season and how the regions are going to do, how the Welsh squad can compete against the southern hemisphere sides.

"The sooner we can get talking about the rugby the better."

Scarlets begin their 2014-15  Pro12 campaign at home to Ulster on the first weekend in September.

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