BRITISH and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton is the first Welsh player to have signed a dual contract, Regional Rugby Wales has confirmed.
The landmark deal means Warburton’s wages will be split between the Welsh Rugby Union and the player’s region, Cardiff Blues, whose funding from the governing body has been increased from £6.7m to £8.7m.
The WRU will pay 60 per cent of the 25-year-old’s wages and Warburton is limited to playing 16 matches for the Blues, the breakdown of which is at the Guinness Pro12 side’s discretion.
The RRW said in a statement: “The dual contract involves the WRU having primacy of contract with the national dual contracted player, but entering into a joint player agreement with the region which confirms the contribution of the player to both the region and the national side, according to agreed structures.”
Wales coach Warren Gatland is able to offer more dual contracts to his Test stars that play their domestic rugby in the Pro12, with Alun Wyn Jones and Adam Jones potential recipients.