On Wednesday, March 8, there were various headlines in the world of rugby. One of the major headlines was regarding the Cardiff Rugby team, as a number of its players are contemplating going semi-professional and taking on second jobs due to significant budget cuts and salaries being driven down across Welsh rugby.
It was reported that Cardiff’s budget for next season is expected to drop by around £2 million, and the director of rugby, Dai Young, is already resigned to losing three players: Jarrod Evans, Willis Halaholo, and Dmitri Arhip.
According to Sam Warburton, some players earning up to £250,000 had learned that there would only be £30,000 in the pot to pay them next term.
The former Welsh rugby union captain, speaking on The Ruck rugby podcast, revealed that he had spoken to his brother, who is a physio at Cardiff, and that “Lads are considering getting a job as a trade and then playing semi-professional so they can top up those salaries by £15,000, and they’ll be earning more money than being a professional rugby player.”
Moreover, Warburton added that these players have families to look after and their decision is not because they are throwing tantrums.
Halaholo, who spoke about the challenges he is currently facing, including being injured, being out of contract, and not receiving a new offer which is enough for his family, is just one of many players who are facing this situation.
The article also discusses Wales’ reigning rugby player of the year, Will Rowlands, who is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a shoulder injury and could feature for the Dragons in their European clash with Glasgow Warriors in April.
The 31-year-old has been out of action since suffering a shoulder injury in the autumn international win against Argentina in November.
Although Rowlands falls foul of the Welsh Rugby Union’s new 25-cap policy, he could receive special dispensation to compete at the Rugby World Cup this autumn.
In other news, All Blacks star and Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea has been banned for a week for making a throat-slitting gesture at an opponent during Friday’s Super Rugby match against Melbourne Rebels.
Savea apologised after the fixture ended in a 39-33 victory for the Hurricanes, saying the gesture was “out of character.”
Meanwhile, Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care is ready to welcome Welsh fly-half Jarrod Evans to the English set-up with open arms.
Cardiff director of rugby Dai Young has admitted the region cannot table a competitive contract offer to the No. 10 amid budget cuts, and he is expected to join Quins.
Lastly, the article discusses how Marcus Smith has won his duel with George Ford for the role of fly-half understudy to Owen Farrell for England’s biggest test of the Guinness Six Nations yet.
Smith was battling to keep his place on the bench for Saturday’s Twickenham showdown with France but he has been included in a reduced 27-man squad at the expense of his playmaking rival.
Courtney Lawes will be missing after the Northampton forward was ruled out of the remaining two rounds of the tournament because of a shoulder injury.