Warren Gatland critical of Premiership Rugby for not releasing Wales trio
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 03/06/18 10:46pm
Wales head coach Warren Gatland criticised Premiership Rugby Limited after calling up Josh Adams and Tomas Francis for his team's two-Test tour of Argentina.
The encounter with the Springboks in Washington fell outside World Rugby's designated Test window, meaning PRL were within their rights to take their decision, but Gatland feels the situation could have been handled better.
"Every other country is playing three games - England are playing four - and we finish our tour a week earlier than them," said Gatland.
The club season is finished and the players are going to be back with their clubs early anyway. It's a sad indictment on the politics of the game.
"I understand completely what PRL are trying to do in the autumn when we organise a fourth international. They're protecting their own competition.
"Players go back during the Six Nations down weeks and I understand that too, but I just can't understand why they would stop players from joining us a week or two early.
"The club season is finished and the players are going to be back with their clubs early anyway. It's a sad indictment on the politics of the game.
"I understand and accept completely the views on the other stuff but this one just doesn't make sense to me."
Wales' games with Argentina fall within the calendar's window, which runs from June 9-23, and Gatland wasted no time calling up both Adams and Francis.
The arrival of Worcester wing Adams is a boost after Steff Evans was ruled out of facing Argentina with a knee injury suffered in the 22-20 win over South Africa.
Exeter prop Francis provides tighthead cover for Samson Lee, who did not play against the Springboks due to a back problem.
"Josh will be involved for the last two weeks," said Gatland. "We've got enough cover on the wing to take care of it and both our 10s can play 15 as well.
"George North can go back to the wing too. It's a shame for Steff but it's one injury, not three or four."
Wales secured a dramatic late victory at the RFK Stadium as Ryan Elias crossed for the match-winning try after earlier efforts from Hallam Amos and debutant Tomos Williams.