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Welsh rugby: WRU to boost exile programme in ‘battle’ over players

Full-back Josh Hathaway, born in Aberystwyth and formerly part of the Scarlets academy, is among those players weighing up his options.

He moved to study at Hartpury College, has broken into the Gloucester starting team and has now represented England Under-20s.

“We’re not seeing a mass exodus, however, we need to look at what we are delivering, the opportunities we are providing and the quality of the programme in order to retain young players in Wales,” said Bevan.

“If a child is offered an opportunity to go to a private school in England, as a parent you are going to consider that.

“So we need to ensure the quality, not just the rugby programme but the education that is being delivered.

“We need to shout about the education system here and the scholarships we are already looking at.”

Bevan pointed to an “upturn in interest” at Coleg y Cwmoedd, in Rhondda Cynon Taf, after graduates Cam Winnett and Mackenzie Martin won their first Wales caps this year.

However, that has also been a result of necessity given the drastic budget cuts faced by the four regions.

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