(Reuters) – Wales have put behind them the proposed merger between two of their biggest clubs which threatened to overshadow their Six Nations Grand Slam bid, centre Jonathan Davies said on Thursday.
The merger between the Ospreys and the Scarlets proved a major distraction, so much so that Wales coach Warren Gatland brought forward the naming of his team by two days to try to put the focus back on the game against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The merger of the two PRO-14 teams was part of a proposed reform of Welsh rugby but both clubs have since denied the plan.
“It’s been a bit of a distraction at the start of the week,” Davies said of a meeting between the players and Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips about the reorganisation of the domestic game.
Gatland said Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones had spoken to the players and told them to focus on their Six Nations ambitions.
“Alun is an excellent captain and he always gets the best out of his teams,” Davies told reporters.
“We have to put away all those politics and focus on the job in hand.
“Whether some boys need that for motivation I’m not sure, but I guarantee you this Welsh team is going up there focused on getting the result on Saturday. That’s what we love doing, that’s what we’re here to do.”
Asked if he had known a week like it, the British and Irish Lions centre replied: “There’s always gossip and chat, it’s Welsh rugby at the end of the day.”
Wales will be looking to extend their record 12-match winning run against the Scots and move closer to the Six Nations Grand Slam. They started with victories in France and Italy before beating England in Cardiff.
Wales finish their campaign at home to Ireland.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)