CHIEF executive Martyn Phillips says the revamped international selection policy will allow the Welsh Rugby Union to be more “targeted” with national dual contracts, writes Chris Kirwan.

The convoluted previous ‘Gatland’s Law’ with wildcards has been ditched and replaced by a new rule that states any player moving overseas must have 60 caps to continue representing their country.

The governing body hope that the selection criteria will provide an extra barrier to younger talent being tempted away by big-spending English and French clubs and Phillips believes it will lead to an improvement in the NDC system.

There are currently eight players on dual deals at the Ospreys – Dan Lydiate, Rhys Webb, Bradley Davies, James King, Dan Biggar, Alun Wyn Jones, Scott Baldwin and Rory Thornton – and Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, Jake Ball and Samson Lee at the Scarlets.

The Dragons have Hallam Amos and Tyler Morgan while Cardiff Blues have Sam Warburton and Gareth Anscombe.

With the NDC pot limited, Phillips hopes that the selection policy will enable them to concentrate on those who have established themselves on the Test scene.

“We can be more targeted now with NDCs,” said Phillips. “The 60-cappers, it probably won’t go far enough to retain all of them but it should make us more impactful in terms of looking at maybe seven or eight players.

“Say that we really want them in Wales because they will not only be great players but they will be good for the environment and good for helping to coach emerging players – let’s point our money at those people and get them playing in Wales.”

The two high-profile players hit by the new policy are scrum-half Rhys Webb, who faces the axe when he moves to Toulon next season, and back row forward Ross Moriarty, who will be ineligible unless he moves to Wales from Gloucester when his deal expires in the summer.

The Scarlets are keen on the powerful blindside/number eight while it has been suggested in some quarters that the Welsh Rugby Union, now owners of the Dragons, could help bring him to Rodney Parade.

“I don’t think we are in the persuasion game really,” said Phillips. “We do a lot of succession planning by region and also with Wales, so we know where the depth is and we know where the gaps are.

“It’s certainly not the WRU’s position to influence which of the regions a player goes to.

“On the flip side, because we work so well collectively now you can see there is no point in certain players going where they will be three or four or five deep when a region down the road has nobody in that position.

“We paint the picture, that’s our job, but the player ultimately has to go where the player wants to go. I still believe strongly in that.

“It’s such an emotional game that you have got to want to be where you are, and we wouldn’t want to get in the way of that.”