Rugby Union: Quinnell ends talks

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The Independent Online
The Welsh Rugby Union is standing firm in its disagreement over pay with Scott Quinnell but insists the way remains open for a re-opening of negotiations.

Quinnell, who is refusing to play for Wales since returning from rugby league to join Richmond during the summer, has broken off talks between his agent, Mike Burton, and the WRU director of rugby, Terry Cobner.

Both Quinnell and Burton now accept there is little chance of him playing international rugby this season despite being expected to return against Australia at Cardiff Arms Park on 1 December.

The WRU issued a statement yesterday, saying: "The Union would like to make it clear that at no time did their negotiator, director of rugby Terry Cobner, make any promises to Scott Quinnell, or his agent, regarding remuneration.

"Various proposals were examined during the discussions, all of which needed the approval of the WRU general committee."

Contracted national squad members playing in the Welsh league each secured contracts worth pounds 30,000, plus assorted win bonuses and match fees. It is understood that Quinnell was offered pounds 20,000 before any extras.

"I am surprised that the WRU have changed the basis of their offer to me for the third time," said the former Llanelli player, who won nine caps before joining Wigan two years ago.

"I had accepted their latest offer, even though it was still some way short of the financial package being offered to players playing for Welsh clubs.

"I was prepared to make that sacrifice to wear the red jersey again, but this latest turnabout by the WRU is most distressing."

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