Wales: Blues boss Mark Hammett welcomes dual contracts

Mark Hammett
Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett

Cardiff Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett says dual contracts "have got to be good for Wales" but said it might take "three to five years" to see benefits.

Wales coach Warren Gatland announced 12 to 13 players are to be offered dual deals by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), including Dan Lydiate, Taulupe Faletau, Hallam Amos and Tyler Morgan.

"Last year, Welsh rugby was in a bit of turmoil," Hammett said. "We lost players overseas because of uncertainty so this is a bit of a fix-it stage."

Warren Gatland says Dan Lydiate is among 12 players to be offered Wales dual contracts

In recent seasons, Blues have lost Wales and British Lions' stars Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny to French clubs while prop Gethin Jenkins spent a season at Toulon.

Wales flanker Lydiate, 26, played for Newport Gwent Dragons between 2006 and 2013 and reached an agreement to leave Racing Metro after just 17 months in France.

Ospreys are favourites to sign him but a decision on his future has yet to be resolved.

The WRU and four regions - Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets - signed a six-year agreement in August after almost two years of disagreements over funding.

As part of that deal, the parties announced that a number of players would be offered central contracts with the costs shared 60/40 between the WRU and the regions.

Gatland will be heavily involved in the selection of the players to be offered the contracts, with only Cardiff Blues' Wales captain Sam Warburton confirmed on a deal to date.