Regional Rugby Wales statement

The following statement is issued by Regional Rugby Wales on behalf of the four Welsh regions; the Scarlets, Ospreys, Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues in response to the comments made by the WRU earlier today (Sunday 31st March 2013).

The four Welsh regions are united in expressing how staggered and bitterly disappointed they all are with the nature, intent and content of the public statement made by the WRU this morning on a number of issues affecting Welsh rugby.

As the governing body that should lead and set the standards and platform for the profile of the game in Wales, the regions are surprised at the WRU’s seemingly defensive reaction to some of the media reporting particularly given the success of yesterday’s Welsh derby double-header.

As a celebration of regional rugby that attracted close to 37,000 supporters of our game, it was a clear example of the benefits of a partnership approach between the four regions to create fresh opportunities to promote the regional game in Wales and enjoyed by both regional players and spectators.

There are a number of significant comments made within the WRU statement, that the four regions will now need to consider very seriously and with the appropriate amount of time and discussion before making a full and united response.

The Professional Regional Game Board (PRGB) was proposed to ensure that Welsh rugby had a joint collaborative body, with an independent chairman, with the remit and authority to find solutions for some of the issues affecting Welsh rugby.

Had the PRGB been implemented as originally agreed by the WRU, it would be addressing the exact issues that it has now raised in its statement including the important objective of how best to retain Welsh players like George North.

The four regions and WRU signed and agreed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2012 that outlined the creation of the PRGB.  On the basis of this agreement, the PRGB met once on December 17th 2012.

The Regions have not changed or altered in any way their interpretation, understanding, intent or commitment to the agreements reached since the first proposals were made in May 2012.

The only queries raised subsequently, which have affected the establishment of the PRGB and the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all five parties, have been made by the WRU which has in turn delayed the process.

The four Welsh regions have been committed and open in providing full and detailed information for the PwC report and its recommendations and have been consistent in their aims to work in partnership for successful establishment of the PRGB.