Wales v Tonga: Bath prop Paul James now set to play

Paul James

WALES V TONGA

Venue:
Millennium Stadium
Date:
Friday, 22 November
Kick-off:
19:30 GMT
Coverage:
Live on BBC Two Wales, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online; score updates online; highlights on Scrum V on BBC Two Wales on Sunday from 18:15 GMT

Wales' deal with Bath over the availability of prop Paul James for their clash against Australia on 30 November has been called off.

Ahead of the 2013 autumn Tests, to ensure James could face Wasps in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday, 24 November.

Wales agreed on the basis James would be free for duty against the Wallabies.

But a Wales spokesman confirmed that arrangement no longer exists.

It means James is set to take over at loose-head prop as 100-cap Gethin Jenkins is likely to be among

The game against the Wallabies falls outside the International Rugby Board autumn Tests slot, with the earlier clashes against South Africa, Argentina and Tonga falling within it.

The situation has arisen amid pressure from top-flight English club rugby's umbrella body Premier Rugby Limited to ensure players based there are not released for non-IRB window games.

The four Welsh Pro12 teams - Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons - are contractually obliged to release players for all Wales games and training sessions.

But English and French clubs are under no such obligation.

However, Gatland insisted in October that Northampton wing George North has "full release" for Wales duties and the Lions wing is expected to face Australia.

Northampton say their policy is to not discuss any club-player contractual issues.

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