Daily Mail



LIAM WILLIAMS is set to be the first star to turn his back on Welsh rugby amid the country’s ongoing contractua­l chaos, with the full back poised for a lucrative move to Japan. Sportsmail understand­s Williams is close to agreeing a deal with Kobe Steelers as significan­t budget cuts at Wales’ four regions continue to have a major impact. The Six Nations squad threatened to strike before last weekend’s game against England with about 90 of the country’s out-ofcontract players unable to be offered new ones. The strike was averted but there remain significan­t problems in the Welsh game. The central funding from the Welsh Rugby Union to Dragons, Cardiff, Ospreys and Scarlets is set to drop significan­tly. Players across Wales will see their pay packets cut by an average of 20 per cent, so the country’s top talent is looking for a swift exit.

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