The Welsh Rugby Union issued the following response after being made aware of a public statement on behalf of the four Welsh Regions
A Welsh Rugby Union spokesman said:"Anyone who cares about Welsh rugby will be disappointed to discover that the four Regions have decided to go about their business in this way. We regard the statement as inaccurate and misleading and will be addressing these points with the individuals concerned.
"Over recent months there have been numerous meetings between the Welsh Rugby Union and the Regions looking forward towards a new Participation Agreement aimed at nurturing and developing elite rugby in Wales.
"The latest of those meetings took place this week and the Welsh Rugby Union regards the talks on a range of relevant issues to be progressing well. Therefore we are surprised at the sudden recourse to public statements but will refrain from engaging in detailed debate outside the format of formal negotiation.
"The Welsh Rugby Union remains determined to secure a Participation Agreement which will benefit the whole of rugby in Wales and ensure that our Regions continue to develop and grow as competitive forces on the European and world stage."
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland issued the following statement in response to the statement by the four Welsh Regions.
Warren Gatland said:"I am saddened at the suggestion that I was asked to speak out on the player release issue by the WRU on their behalf. To put it bluntly, I am big enough and ugly enough to speak out on my own behalf.
"Everyone knows that five days preparation is insufficient for a major international and that is not questioned by the Regions or their executives. My focus is straightforward in that I want adequate preparation time for the players selected to represent Wales and nothing more."
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.