Statement issued by the WRU over the release of international players from Regional duty to prepare for the Invesco Perpetual Series internationals.
The Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis, said:-
"The Welsh Rugby Union fully supports the Wales Head Coach, Warren Gatland, in his aim to achieve maximum preparation time for the squad before the forthcoming matches in November.
"We totally understand the need for all the parties involved to work in partnership and I know Warren has raised the release issue in good time.
"Player release is always unavoidably disruptive given the demands of the modern professional game, but we must work together on this in the interests of a successful Wales team.
"I would hope this issue can be resolved quickly through direct discussion as there are rules and understandings already in place and there is certainly no need to conclude any new formal agreements at this stage.
"The four Regions play a vital role in the delivery of a successful Wales team and I would ask them to seek to resolve this issue now in the spirit of partnership. It can be done if there is a universal will to succeed.
"There is a clear issue over disruption of cup team selection for the Regions, but in this particular case we are talking about Wales preparing for an incredibly strong and important line-up of games. The fixture crunch issue this has pinpointed is clearly there to be debated and resolved.
"We have been involved in important and meaningful talks with the Regions on a range of issues and I am confident they have the ability to help find a solution to this problem.
"I know that spirit of partnership and compromise is fully embraced by Warren and there are many examples of how it works in practice.
"National coaches across all the disciplines now work closely and regularly with the Regions. For instance the conditioners Craig White and Mark Bennett share their duties across two Regions each to achieve maximum impact.
"The national team indoor and outdoor training facilities at the Vale Resort and the Welsh Institute of Sport have also been utilised.
"The Welsh Rugby Union fully funds the four academies which deliver significant benefits to the Regions and that is right and proper.
"All these are examples of how the delivery of players for national duties is one element of a partnership which rightly works both ways.
"Warren has made it very clear that as far as the national squad is concerned he is looking for a level playing field to ensure their preparations are on a par with what is being achieved in the other home nations.
"I am extremely proud of what the Regions achieve and how they are developing through challenging times, but I urge them to pursue this issue with the clarity and efficiency I know they can deliver."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.