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  • "The other 3 regions have been announcing signings from all round the globe - have they got a rubber stamp supplied courtesy of the WRU?"
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Dragons still waiting over move for prop Brok Harris

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons are still waiting on a date for their hearing to try and get their move for prop Brok Harris rubber-stamped, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 29-year-old South African, who can play both sides of the scrum, has agreed to head to Rodney Parade next season but deals to sign overseas players must be ratified by a three-strong panel.

The verdict must be unanimous from the hearing, which consists of an independent representative along with those from the Welsh Rugby Union and Regional Rugby Wales.

The Dragons are still waiting for a meeting to put forward their case to sign Harris, who has missed the Stormers' Super Rugby run-in after having a knee operation.

The WRU and RRW are still attempting the thrash out a fresh participation agreement.

The current accord ran out on June 30 however reports that the regions won't be able to pay staff and that players will be put up for sale are wide of the mark.

The gap will be covered in the short-term by benefactors, just as it was when their European funding was withheld by the European Rugby Cup last season, but a resolution to the tiresome affair needs to be found.

"Talks are ongoing and things haven't broken down but time is getting precious because we aren't, as things stand, receiving any funding from the Union," said Dragons chief executive Gareth Davies.

"There is an urgency to come to some sort of conclusion because all four regions receive income from the competitions we play in and player release arrangements. It has to be sorted soon and I'd like to think it will be."

A new deal may enable the quartet to increase their self-imposed salary cap from £3.5million to £4million but it will still be some way short of their English and French rivals.

Some Aviva Premiership sides still feel that their limit of £5million leaves them at risk of losing stars to the Top 14.

Meanwhile, Anthony Buchanan is considering being a candidate in the August elections to be successor to Gerald Davies as national representative on the WRU board.

The 59-year-old former prop, who won five caps for Wales, is currently director of rugby at Llanelli.

Davies confirmed last week that he would not be seeking re-election after nine years on the board.

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