Welsh regions want more answers

Thu, 16 Jan 2014 07:58
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There is just a hint of a ceasefire in the long-standing war of words between the Welsh Rugby Union and the country's four regional teams.

There is just a hint of a ceasefire in the long-standing war of words between the Welsh Rugby Union and the country's four regional teams.

The regions, under the auspices of Regional Rugby Wales, say the WRU have pledged to resolve the key issues at the heart of what is rugby's version of a civil war.

RRW wants more answers, but the WRU have committed to have those by the end of this month.

This comes following a further meeting between the two sides, amid growing optimism that there might finally be some hope of a peace deal being struck.

The regions insist they remain committed to the Rugby Champions Cup, the money-spinning competition proposed by the English clubs as a replacement for the European Cup.

Regional Rugby Wales has confirmed that it is currently in discussion with the Welsh Rugby Union on behalf of the four Welsh Regions, regarding the WRU’s new proposal issued to them on January 6th 2014.

Meetings are currently taking place between RRW executives and the WRU to discuss the new “Rugby Services Agreement” document presented to the Regions by the WRU.

The Regions are currently considering the contents of the document in detail and through Regional Rugby Wales, will be in active discussion with the WRU including requesting further details, clarity and confirmation on a number of points raised in the proposals to see if there is any common ground.

Throughout the past two years, the Welsh Regions have been trying to pragmatically discuss the previous Participation Agreement and at all times made it clear, either as part of the PWC report and then the PRGB, that their wish is to work collaboratively with the WRU to progress a sustainable and competitive game in Wales.

Whilst the Regions continue to actively discuss each element of the detailed operational document proposed by the WRU, the only defined competition and committed revenue available to the Regions at this time remains the Rugby Champions Cup.

The Regions remain committed to the implementation of the Rugby Champions Cup, which will provide an additional £12-million in committed revenues to Welsh Rugby over the next three years.  It is the biggest increase of funding into the Welsh game in five years.  It will increase funding to the Irish clubs and protect the Scottish clubs.  Bringing in £12-million in three years into the Welsh game does not threaten the Six Nations or bring about its demise.

The Regions have now been assured that the WRU will seek to resolve the fundamental issues of defining and committing League and Cup competitions and revenues by the end of this month.

We're happy to discuss operational details within a potential agreement but any detail is meaningless without WRU fulfilling their primary obligation of defining the structure of the competitions the agreement applies to and committing to the revenues generated.

WRU assure us they will confirm these core elements within this month, allowing the Regions to run their businesses at the same time as finalising any operational detail within a joint agreement.

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