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Page last updated at 07:27 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 08:27 UK

James in Scarlets legal dispute

Dafydd James
Dafydd James won 48 Wales caps during his international career

Ex-Lions and Wales back Dafydd James says he is taking legal advice after the Scarlets terminated his contract.

James says the region invoked a clause in his contract claiming he had been injured for more than 26 weeks this season, which the player disputes.

"I'm in the midst of talking to legal representation... and what course of action [to be taken]," James said.

In response the Scarlets said any action "is taken after very serious consideration of all legal issues".

A Scarlets' statement continued: "This has been the case with Dafydd James' contract and the region's legal right to evoke [sic] the 26-week injury clause."

But the 33-year-old says he has been "humiliated", claiming he was denied access to a team bus and training.

"There are contractual disputes there," he said. "I had a season left, my contract was due to expire as of next year, next June, and I've been released.

"The club have invoked the 26-week ruling... obviously I'm contesting that and... it's bitterly disappointing with the way they've handled a number of events in recent weeks really."

James, capped 48 times by Wales and a Lions Test starter on the 2001 tour to Australia, confirmed reports that he had been prevented from boarding a team bus and turned away from training.

"To be quite honest, I've never been so humiliated in my life with this particular episode," said James, speaking on BBC Wales' Scrum V Radio programme.

"I'm fit. I have been since the beginning of March. Obviously people behind the scenes have tried to invoke the 26-week ruling.

"I'm selected to play and then on arrival turned away and told that I'm not allowed to play.

"So obviously disappointed and I'll re-emphasise that I've never been so humiliated in my life, I think I deserved a bit better than that."

But the Scarlets claim they did their utmost to keep James.

The Scarlets' statement added: "In Dafydd's case there was another offer on the table, which the region considered very good indeed.

The way this has been handled I think is quite appalling really

Dafydd James

"However, after lengthy discussions, the region and player were unfortunately unable to agree a way forward.

"The Scarlets did not wish to be drawn into a public discussion on the conclusion of his contract as it did not deem it appropriate.

"However, following Dafydd's recent public comments, the region would like to make it clear that it was the Scarlets' positive intention to retain the 33-year-old player for the next two years on a renewed contract with a clear and seamless pathway to a future coaching role with the region.

"He was offered a substantial salary for two years, which the region considered to be highly competitive, plus the attractive offer of development towards a future Scarlets coaching role.

"The region was very surprised that Dafydd did not accept this new extended offer."

James was a Llanelli player from 1999 to 2001, also playing for Pontypridd, Bridgend, Celtic Warriors and Harlequins before returning to play for the Scarlets regional side in 2005.

606: DEBATE

"I've had many a fond year down in Llanelli at the Scarlets, the crowd and the supporters have been fantastic and the club deserves a lot more and a lot better than what's been going on both on and off the field.

"I'd like to wish them all the very best, both the players and the club, but the way this has been handled I think is quite appalling really."

James follows flanker Gavin Thomas and New Zealand lock Simon Maling out of Parc y Scarlets. The pair were released after being injured for more than 26 weeks this season.

The Scarlets are also expected to cancel the contract of Kiwi open-side Daniel Braid after he ruptured his Achilles tendon last weekend, having only just announced his signing for next season from Queensland Reds.



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see also
Scarlets release ex-Wales wing
21 Apr 09 |  Scarlets
Scarlets 'call off Braid signing'
20 Apr 09 |  Scarlets
Evans admits Scarlets focus issue
20 Apr 09 |  Scarlets
Scarlets centre Evans joins Blues
18 Mar 09 |  Welsh
Thomas & Maling to leave Scarlets
30 Mar 09 |  Scarlets
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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