Sam Warburton to miss Cardiff Blues' match against Exeter Chiefs as Wales contract row rages on

The four regions are adamant they will not pick centrally contracted players until the dispute with the WRU is settled

Wales captain Sam Warburton will miss Cardiff Blues’ pre-season fixture against Exeter this Friday as the ongoing row between the Wales Rugby Union and Welsh regions threatens to reach new heights.

The Blues face Premiership side Exeter Chiefs ahead of the Guinness Pro12 season, but they will be without the influential Warburton due to a deadlock in talks regarding the new Participation Agreement that sees international players centrally contracted to the WRU.

The four regional clubs have vowed not to pick any players who are centrally contracted until the dispute is resolved, meaning Warburton could be facing an extended spell on the sidelines through no doing of his own.

Veteran prop Adam Jones is another who is suffering because of the row as the 33-year-old British and Irish Lion is currently without a club. Jones is currently training with Neath in an effort to be fit for the start of the season, but any deal with the Ospreys depends on the Participation Agreement situation being settled.

Jones was one of the bigger names left off a list that was revealed by The Rugby Paper in which Warren Gatland highlighted 10 of his players that he wants tied down to dual-contracts, meaning they would be funded jointly by the WRU and the specific region that they play for.  

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