Warren Gatland has thrown a hand grenade into Welsh rugby's political minefield by revealing he has questioned his position.
Wales supremo Gatland’s startling admission came as he announced his 32-man squad for next month’s Tests against South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Gatland still does not know when his squad will assemble ahead of their autumn Test series opener against the Springboks on November 8.
Wales’ four professional regions - Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, the Ospreys and Scarlets - do not plan to release their players until five days before the Springboks clash.
However, the Welsh Rugby Union has asked the International Rugby Board adjudicate on a matter which has left Gatland angry.
He said: “It has taken the gloss off my position. You just feel frustrated that the two sides can’t get together and thrash it out.
“I might have to look at it if this carries on. I have already questioned my position at the moment.
“It’s no good for anyone if you send out a team that gets well beaten because it is not prepared. There is pressure on performance and results.”
New Zealander Gatland led Wales to the RBS 6 Nations title and a Grand Slam during his first five games at the helm last season.
His contract with the Welsh Rugby Union incorporates the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
He added: “I didn’t think there was anything outside the existing Participation Agreement that I was asking for.
“Under the current agreement (between regions and WRU), it is 13 days (release) for the November Tests and 13 days for the Six Nations.
“I wasn’t asking for anything extra in terms of training days.
“The relationship with the regions at the coalface is probably better than it has ever been, but this goes deeper than that.
“Unfortunately, the players and national management have been dragged into non-rugby issues.
“It is a huge year for the players, in terms of the autumn up against three of the best sides in the world, then the Six Nations and a Lions tour at the end of it.
“If I was some of the players, I would be a little bit concerned that a couple of poor performances in the autumn might have a bearing on the end of the season.
“I think everyone realises that five days’ preparation going into an international match these days is not ideal.
“I have been pretty despondent over the whole thing, I’ve got to admit that.
“We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago when I said there was no winner here - we don’t win, the regions don’t win - and one of the (regional) chief executive officers replied ‘That’s Welsh rugby for you.’
“I said ‘That’s not good enough.’ We need to sort this out, going forward, and make sure these problems are solved.
“Even though it might have been reported we were looking for the full 13 days, we were more than happy to have the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (next week), then release the players back.
“It wasn’t taking them out of the last round of EDF games. I think that’s a compromise. We get some time with the players and the regions get their players back on Wednesday evening so they are available for the following weekend.”