Rugby Union: The current exodus of star players from Welsh rugby will continue until more money is pumped into the game, the chairman of Cardiff Blues warned today.
Peter Thomas hit out after the Blues announced that their 44 times-capped Wales centre Jamie Roberts will leave them at the end of this season.
With a move to Paris-based Racing Metro on the cards, Roberts is set to join Wales colleagues Mike Phillips, James Hook, Gethin Jenkins and Luke Charteris by agreeing a lucrative contract in France.
The situation has angered the Blues, who claimed that Roberts, 26, rejected a deal with them that would have made him among Britain’s highest-paid players.
Thomas said: “We have invested a lot of time, money and effort developing Jamie as a rugby player from an early age after identifying him as a star of the future.
“We have stuck by him through thick and thin and supported him during last season when he only completed two matches for the Blues because of his knee injury and international duties, playing 15 matches for Wales.”
He added: “It is impossible for the Welsh regions to compete with the kind of money that is on offer from other clubs in other countries.
“The chairman of the regions can guide companies, but if we want to keep Jamie Roberts and other international players in Wales then the governing body has to intervene.
“The player drain out of Wales, which has a negative impact on the Welsh regions and the national team, will only continue without increased funding from the governing body.”