WALES will take on England in the Six Nations on Saturday after crisis talks over contract disputes.

Welsh rugby’s professional players had a summit gathering at the Vale Resort on Wednesday afternoon where they were addressed by WRU chief executive Nigel Walker and Professional Rugby Game Board chairman Malcolm Wall.

There was the threat of striking for the lucrative Six Nations encounter against the English in Cardiff but the national team will now take to the field at Principality Stadium, with Warren Gatland naming his matchday squad on Thursday.

Speaking alongside Wales captain Ken Owens, Walker said: “I’m pleased to announce that after extensive conversations and discussions over the last week the Wales-England game will go ahead as scheduled.”

Western Telegraph:

“It’s important going forward that we continue the dialogue over the last week or so, but not under the circumstances we’ve had over the last week or so.

“Ken and I and some of the senior players will be meeting more regularly than perhaps we have in the past.”

Owens said: “We are obviously happy. There has been huge frustration over the last number of months that it got to this stage.

"We felt we had to make a stand, but the conversations that have taken place over the last 10 days or so have shown that some positive resolutions can be found.

“The players are satisfied, hence why the game is on on Saturday. It has been very tough, hugely frustrating.

"It has been a difficult period, but we have fronted up in training and prepared as we would for any Test match and we are looking forward to getting out there and going toe-to-toe with England.

“Of course it has been a distraction with everything that has been going on, but I have got to commend the players’ professionalism in this.

“When we have crossed that white line at training, we’ve done our work as professional players. We are really ready for Saturday.”

A new six-year financial agreement between the Dragons, Ospreys, Cardiff and Scarlets and the WRU has not yet been signed, meaning the continuation of a recruitment freeze.

That has meant that more than 70 professional players have been unable to sign fresh terms, putting their bodies on the line without certainty over their futures.

With salaries set to be cut, players have been angered by three main parts of the new arrangement.

They wanted the 60-cap rule ended, a voice for players on the PRB and variable elements of contracts to be ditched.

Walker confirmed that the 60-cap rule will be cut to 25 caps and that the recruitment freeze will be lifted next week.

Players will have the option of a fixed contract or a variable one.

More to come…