Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Wales internationals Jonathan Davies, Gareth Davies and Jake Ball have all signed national dual contracts with the Scarlets and Welsh Rugby Union in a bid to prevent them being lured by clubs in England and France.
The aim of the contracts is to ensure leading Welsh players continue to play their club rugby in the Principality.
Officials hope that in having as many players stay at home as possible, they will make the Welsh club game more attractive to spectators and make it easier for Wales coach Warren Gatland to have a greater degree of control over his star performers.
Jonathan Davies, a centre, has taken up a contract option to remain at the Scarlets while scrum-half Gareth Davies has signed one with the Llanelli-based club for the first time. Meanwhile lock Ball has signed his second dual contract with the Scarlets.
National dual contracts are funded 60 percent by the WRU and 40 percent by a player’s region.
Jonathan Davies and Ball are currently sidelined by injuries, but Gareth Davies has featured in both of Wales’s opening two Six Nations internationals against Scotland and England.
“This is another significant announcement for Welsh rugby, with three experienced internationals committing their future to the game in Wales and to the Scarlets,” said WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips.
“It is testament to the NDCs and the environment we are creating in partnership with the regions that Jake and Jonathan have both signed extensions to their NDCs.
“It is vital we retain our best talent for the future of our game on and off the field, and Gareth signing an NDC for the first time is another important commitment.”
Wales, beaten 12-6 by champions England at Twickenham on Saturday, continue their Six Nations campaign away to Ireland on February 24.