Six Nations 2015: Cuthbert spurned dual deal - Gatland

Alex Cuthbert
Alex Cuthbert is a former Gloucester City U18 centre forward

Coach Warren Gatland has revealed that Wales wing Alex Cuthbert has rejected the offer of a national dual contract.

Gatland said 24-year-old Cuthbert's decision "offers the opportunity up to somebody else".

Wales captain and Cuthbert's Blues team-mate Sam Warburton was the first of seven players to sign a dual deal.

"He [Cuthbert] has another year left on his Cardiff Blues deal. We offered him a contract and he turned it down for his own reasons," said Gatland.

"There is no pressure on players to take dual contracts."

Gatland says the decision of 2013 British and Irish Lion Cuthbert will not directly affect his Wales selection chances.

Wales' Six Nations Fixtures:
Friday, 6 February: England (Cardiff)
Sunday, 15 February: Scotland (Murrayfield)
Saturday, 28 February: France (Paris)
Saturday, 14 March: Ireland (Cardiff)
Saturday, 21 March: Italy (Rome)

Scarlets prop Samson Lee was the seventh player to sign to the new contract, in which the Welsh Rugby Union funds 60% of the salary and the region the rest.

Lee joined Warburton, Dan Lydiate, Jake Ball, Tyler Morgan, Hallam Amos and Rhodri Jones on dual deals.

The creation of dual contracts was part of a £60m deal between the WRU and regions over funding and governance of the game in Wales.

Another Scarlet, centre Scott Williams, said he has been offered such a contract.

Dual-contracted players are limited to 16 regular-season games for their regions plus any knockout games.

At a news conference to explain his 2015 Six Nation squad selection, Gatland says that workload limit gives dual-contracted players an advantage.

"It won't affect selection, but there is an obvious advantage to players in terms of the number of games that they play for their regions."

WALES 2015 SIX NATIONS SQUAD:

Forwards: Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), James King (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Backs: Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon).