Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Gatland's cheap shot at English league says Premiership chief

Mark McCafferty, head of the English Premier Rugby Association has told BBC Radio 5 live that Warren Gatland's criticism of Premiership quality is inspired by anger at player release agreements.

Wales are playing New Zealand outside the IRB's official test window so club's aren't obliged to release players for the fixture.

"It was a pretty cheap shot, I thought," McCafferty told the BBC, after Gatland said he had doubts about picking English-based Welsh players because the quality of the league wasn't up to scratch.

"They know full well they don't have the ability to call up players from outside of Wales on a compulsory basis so I think maybe there's a bit of feeling about that maybe," said McCafferty.

"The fact is attendances are up 17% this year, and one particular match - Saracens against Northampton at Wembley Stadium, there were more supporters there than in the entire Celtic League."


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