The Welsh Rugby Union may ban Cardiff from dropping Welsh duo Josh Adams and Liam Williams.

Adams is a top recruiting target for French club Lyon, who are willing to pay the transfer fee, while Williams is on the buy list of many clubs in Japan.

Welsh rugby is in financial crisis, with wages and match budgets set to be cut next season. Inevitably, this means Regions may have to explore releasing some of their most expensive roster players, with Adams and Williams falling into that category.

“Players are looking elsewhere for options but so far we have had no formal approach from any club towards our players,” Cardiff’s director of rugby Dai Young told a news conference on Thursday.

“Anyway, a three-way deal with the player, their region and the WRU is needed if anyone wants to leave. Even if we say we are happy to release a player, the WRU would also have to accept him if he were a member of the national team.”

Going forward, regions will have to honor the existing contracts of NS38 players (Wales senior team players of interest) without actually paying the WRU 80% of their wages, which they do now, meaning there will be very little money. . . hire others.

This makes the prospect of transferring from a French or Japanese club attractive for a club like Cardiff, especially as they are unlikely to see their Welsh players in the front line next season due to the Rugby World Cup. However, under a new Rugby Wales deal to be signed, the region could lose funding if it allows a “National Interest 38” player to go ahead without making “reasonable efforts” to retain his services.

“We get a little money per season for our 38 National Team players,” Young said. “If they have a contract for next season, there are no additional contributions.

“These are players valued by the WRU and we are not involved in setting their fees. So we raised our hand if we were interested. We did this on the basis that we would only pay 20%.

“There would be a case for removing these players from our accounts before we have to pay them in full, but there will be conditions on the money we withdraw from the WRU.

“We will not be able to get funding from them if we fire all our international players. There are barriers for this not to happen, for all national players not to play elsewhere. As part of the funding deal, we have to have as many national team members as possible on our team.”

Next season, Young will have to work with a side that have had a £2million cut to their playing budget, with 21 players still under contract. That leaves the former Wales international with £400,000 to spend on around 15 players to complete his 2023-24 squad.

“Next year there will be a reconfiguration of the entire system. It’s going to be tough, but I’m sure after that we can make plans to start moving forward,” said Young. “We were spending over £7m and now we can only pay £5.2m. The game cannot sustain the level of spending.

“We saw what happened in England and all these decisions were made on the basis of making the game stable, so we don’t have a Wasps or Worcester Warriors scenario.

“The real budget we have is not enough to put together a decent team, much less to have one that gives us an advantage. We have to make the most of what we have and try to form the most competitive team possible.

“You would like to think that after next season we will be able to look forward. This is better than possibly losing the region, but only as long as there is a plan to get out of it. This one is the biggest. If next season is a renewed year with a plan to move forward, that will help, but it’s not something we can do every year.”

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