Today's rugby news as WRU to appoint new coaches after cash windfall and announcement stuns rugby

Jordie Barrett is joining the URC with Leinster
Jordie Barrett is joining the URC with Leinster -Credit:Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Here are the latest rugby headlines on Tuesday, April 16.

WRU to appoint new coaches after cash windfall

The WRU with employ five new staff members around its struggling women's team after receiving a huge cash windfall. It will also invest in talent identification programmes across the country and initiatives to engage Welsh-qualified talent based outside of Wales.

A £3m grant is being issued by the British and Irish Lions and their chief sponsor Royal London, ahead of the first ever Lions women's tour against New Zealand in 2027. The money is aimed at 'levelling up' the gap between the home nations to ensure the Lions team is not just England in all but name.

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The Red Roses are currently miles ahead of the rest, with Wales enduring a tough Six Nations after losing all three of their opening matches. Each side will get a share of the money, with the WRU saying the new funding from Royal London will pay for five new staff members to bolster its women's pathway coaching, including a performance coach, set-piece and skills coaches, and a head of physical development.

WRU executive director of rugby Nigel Walker said: "This is vital and welcome funding which we will make full use of in a way that will have an immediate, direct and positive impact on our performance pathway in the women's game.

"We will focus on talent identification and growth as well as bringing in significant new additional coaching, development and science-based support."

Leinster sign Barrett to stun rugby

Leinster have announced the signing of All Blacks superstar Jordie Barrett in a deal that has stunned rugby.

In agreeing a new contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union that will run beyond the 2027 World Cup, Barrett has also exercised an option to play overseas.

The 27-year-old will move to Leinster in December and remain there until the end of next term.

He is a world-class addition to an already immensely powerful Leinster squad, one that is in contention to win the Investec Champions Cup and United Rugby Championship this season.

Barrett, who has won 57 caps and offers options at centre, full-back and fly-half, has strong family connections with Leinster and County Meath, spending more than a year there in the early 2000s when his family relocated.

Barrett, whose brothers Beauden and Scott are also All Blacks, said: "Ireland is a special place for the Barrett family. We've got so many great family connections in Oldcastle, in County Meath and throughout Dublin.

"To have an opportunity to go back and meet some family and friends and connections that were made 20 years ago is pretty cool."

Ospreys re-sign Wales' hottest prospect

The Ospreys have announced Morgan Morse, the hottest prospect in Welsh rugby, has signed a new deal to stay with the team.

Morse, 19, has been a revelation for the region and Wales Under-20s this season and could even break into Warren Gatland's senior squad this summer despite his tender age.

The Cwmtwrch product made his debut for the Ospreys win over the Sharks back in November and has featured 10 times in total.

Morse was originally selected for Wales u20s a week after his 17th birthday and scored on his debut as a second half replacement against Scotland. Since making his debut, Morse has made 19 appearances for Wales u20s, making him one of most capped age-grade players ever.

Morse said: “It’s great to be staying with the Ospreys, it’s the team where I started my professional career. This is a proud moment for me and my family, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can progress here.

“I’ve really enjoyed this season, I’ve made my debut and most importantly, been part of a positive season for the team. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Head Coach Toby Booth said: “We were really happy to get this one over the line. Witnessing Morgan’s development through our academy to becoming an important contributor to the senior side has been incredibly rewarding for everyone that has played a part on the way.

“His talent, work ethic and commitment to the sport exemplify exactly what we look for in a player. We’re excited to see his continued growth and his potential impact in the coming seasons.”