Move to exclude Regional Rugby Wales' voice on

Regional Rugby Wales, the umbrella organisation for the Scarlets, Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons and Ospreys has issued the following statement in reaction to a proposed resolution by the Welsh Rugby Union Board to exclude regional rugby representation on the main WRU Board.

The four regions that are represented by Regional Rugby Wales have been part of the main WRU board since 2003. The mission of RRW is to champion and support the best interests of Welsh rugby through regional rugby’s role in the development of Welsh qualified talent.

Regional Rugby Wales is focused on helping the regional game maximise its potential and support the regions in their pursuit of excellence for the good of the national sport.

We believe that a progressive and strong partnership between the professional tiers and our governing body is fundamental in achieving long-term success.

A proposal to exclude Regional Rugby Wales from the main policy-making body for Welsh Rugby, will severely hamper our ability to represent the varied interests of both players and supporters of the regional game in Wales, as part of the bigger picture discussions that take place on the WRU Board.


To annex Regional Rugby Wales from key policy-making decisions in Welsh Rugby would, in our view, be a backward step.


It undermines the democracy of debate on what best constitutes the way forward for Welsh rugby. To silence regional rugby’s voice on the main WRU Board, where key issues affecting Welsh rugby are discussed, cannot be in the best interests of the game in the long-term.


At a WRU board meeting held on Thursday 9th September 2010, it was agreed to propose to the WRU AGM for the articles of association to be amended to remove the ability for Regional Rugby Wales to appoint a Director to the WRU Board.


The final decision on the regional representative’s exclusion will now be taken to the WRU’s main AGM as a ‘special resolution’ to be held on Sunday 10th October 2010 at which the game’s 200+ club representatives will be invited to vote on the issue.

Chief Executive of Regional Rugby Wales, Stuart Gallacher said: 


“It is very disappointing and deeply concerning for us as regions that there is a motion to exclude us from the board of the WRU.


“This move in our view would renege on the spirit of our new relationship with the governing body of rugby in Wales and we would question why it is necessary.


“We fully appreciate and respect there may be discussions in the future at meetings of the WRU Board which we cannot be party to - and for that reason we have stated that we would quite happily remove ourselves from any such discussions or decisions where there is a conflict of interest; at the discretion of the WRU Chairman. We are more than comfortable with that.


“However to remove us entirely as a voice on Regional Rugby is in our opinion, not in the best interests of the game as a whole.


“Regional Rugby Wales is one of the corner stones of Welsh rugby. We have a shared passion for our national sport and believe that it is only right that we have a voice on the Welsh rugby’s main policy-making body as the regions’ representative.


“We bring value, knowledge and experience to the table. There is important work to be done in the future for the good of our game.  We feel it is crucial that the knowledge and experience brought to the table by our rugby regions helps shape the future of the game and forms part of the debates.


“With a five-year participation agreement in place, the role of Regional Rugby Wales is to work alongside the game’s influencers and policy-makers to ensure the experience, knowledge and interests of the regional game are voiced, protected and championed - as one of the key facets in the future development and promotion of the Welsh game. 

“But to exclude us entirely is a backward step for Welsh rugby and we can see no reason for it.”


If Regional Rugby Wales loses its entitlement to appoint a Director to the WRU Board, the sole forum for the regions to discuss rugby business will be via the Management Board and Rugby Management Board – both of which are focused on regional business rather than the wider picture of Welsh rugby as a whole.