Rugby Union: Jenkins completes move to Cardiff

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CARDIFF AND Pontypridd have finally put an end to the transfer saga involving the Wales outside-half Neil Jenkins.

The switch by Jenkins caused problems between the two clubs last week but Pontypridd's chief executive, Cenydd Thomas, confirmed last night that Jenkins' transfer to Cardiff Arms Park had been concluded. "We have reached an agreement with Cardiff," he said. "Nothing has been signed because it is Sunday but the full details will emerge in the course of time."

The transfer was announced last Monday at a press conference, but Pontypridd insisted he was still their player because their negotiator, Eddie Jones, did not have the authority to broker the deal. It caused Jones to resign as Pontypridd's director of rugby and there was a stand-off between the clubs, with both claiming Jenkins was their player.

Cardiff's operational director, David Jenkins, said: "There has been a great responsibility on both clubs to complete the delicate discussions satisfactorily for the good of Neil and Welsh rugby in general.

"Now that they are, Neil joins us with a record of wonderful service to Pontypridd and we can look forward to several seasons of quality rugby from him at the Arms Park. In the long run, everyone will benefit."

Jenkins will now link up in a new half-back partnership with his international captain, Robert Howley.

Plans have been mooted to set up a 12-team professional league in America. Two months before the Rugby World Cup starts Rupert Murdoch is believed to be involved in negotiations with the sportswear manufacturer Adidas to set up the league with clubs based in major American cities.

Vernon Pugh, chairman of rugby's ruling body, the International Board, has given the idea a cautious welcome. "If it's done under the governance of the American Rugby Football Union and is properly controlled, it might be what we need for rugby to make an impact in the US," he said.