Professional Rugby Board (PRB) ? / Project Reset

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Which Region should be merged/disbanded.

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Total Votes : 20

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Post by No9 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 1:59 pm

First topic message reminder :

So is the newly formed Professional Rugby Board (PRB) going to create stability in the Welsh Professional game or just be a stay of execution before the 4 regions get cut to 3 or even 2.

We don't have the funds in Wales to maintain the existing professional sides, but the problem is, cut one and that wont mean the remaining 3 get more revenue, as supporters and fans of a region will not simply support another is theirs are disbanded, as proved when they disbanded the Celtic Warriors.

I hate the fact, but we don't have the funds to keep professional rugby in Wales, and I foresee the demise of it looming.. Sad

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47348518?isBumped=0&postFreq=0&isEmpty=0&isProfane=0&tooLong=0&charCount=0&isAwaitingProcessPreMod=0&isSubmitted=1&filter=none&initial_page_size=10&postId=133850859#comment_133850859

I love the comment "He admitted an Ospreys merger with Cardiff Blues had been among the options explored in high-level Welsh rugby talks"... what Muppet thought that was going to work Erm

Thoughts....

Its all off again... https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47461662

Lets hope thats the last we hear of this rubbish until the 6 Nations is over at least...


Last edited by No9 on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 2:16 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 3:53 pm

TightHEAD wrote:I voted to disband the Ospreys btw.

Tighthead, you're not subtle! Laugh

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 4:00 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Why don't Welsh rugby fans support their Regions by going to the games?

I go and watch my club, I do not have a region. OK

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Post by marty2086 on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 4:23 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Why don't Welsh rugby fans support their Regions by going to the games?

I go and watch my club, I do not have a region. OK

Yet constantly complain about the Pro14? Rolling Eyes

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 4:29 pm

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Why don't Welsh rugby fans support their Regions by going to the games?

I go and watch my club, I do not have a region. OK

Yet constantly complain about the Pro14? Rolling Eyes

No I don't.

I complain about the officiating and the fact that it is on PS, but I do not complain about the Pro14. You need to take that chip off your shoulder.

I tell it as it is, despite what others would have you think, the competition is on it's knees in Wales, yet everyone else would like to say otherwise, if it was the case, then we would not be in the mess we currently find ourselves in with the regions.

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Post by marty2086 on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 4:32 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Why don't Welsh rugby fans support their Regions by going to the games?

I go and watch my club, I do not have a region. OK

Yet constantly complain about the Pro14? Rolling Eyes

No I don't.

I complain about the officiating and the fact that it is on PS, but I do not complain about the Pro14. You need to take that chip off your shoulder.

I tell it as it is, despite what others would have you think, the competition is on it's knees in Wales, yet everyone else would like to say otherwise, if it was the case, then we would not be in the mess we currently find ourselves in with the regions.

So the officials and tv rights are nothing to do with the Pro14?

You haven't a clue how it is, a business being poorly run is the fault of those running it and shown by the shambles of Ospreys blaming the WRU when they are the ones who tried to make the merger happen

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 5:12 pm

If there was any decent interest in the Pro14 in Wales then the regions would be thriving, there is plenty of interest in rugby in Wales, just not that particular competition.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 5:14 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Dragons are a region, nice try though. That makes you the one who' full of that, along with rest of the one true region brigade. I would rather that none of the four were culled however, if it is the Ospreys.

As it stands all four have been a regional entity since 2003, and although the Dragons embraced it they were left out in the dark to suffer by mismanagement from the WRU and other rugby clubs in the region.

Removed 'unnecessary antagonism' and now it doesn't make sense, yet the antagonistic post I replied to is unedited.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 5:27 pm

LordDowlais wrote:If there was any decent interest in the Pro14 in Wales then the regions would be thriving, there is plenty of interest in rugby in Wales, just not that particular competition.

Has there ever been decent interest in club rugby in Wales though, in the recent past? I mean real interest. I.e. better than now? Take a look at these. A lot of the reports have the attendances. Some 7k attendances for the likes of Newport and Cardiff, but plenty of 1500s, 2000s, 3000s at the likes of Llanelli, Caerphilly, some real low ones doe Pontypridd surprisingly. I think we all look back with misty eyes at the past and perhaps remember only the good times, but attendances for the pro games really were quite low. Nothing to pine for. I wouldn’t say it’s evidence that fans would come out in their droves if the opponents or the competition were different.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/welsh/3799907.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/welsh/2841843.stm

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 5:46 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I find it disgusting that people on the NHS are not getting annual pay rises in Wales, yet the Welsh government are willing to put 12 million pounds into a rugby project.

I can't think of anyone bar general managers and CEO's that get an annual pay-rise (for doing f''k all) in the UK, which is why it makes sense to move abroad Smile.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:03 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:Irrelevant to the point I'm making.

Only in your warped mind. Rolling Eyes

The point you are trying to make is nonsense, just as is merging the two best teams in Wales, and leaving the two abject failures carry on.

Illustrating better than anything I could come up with that you don't even grasp the fundamental driver of what this is about, I.e. the Ospreys finances, and what the WRU can afford to put into the pro game.
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:05 pm

wayne wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
wayne wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
wayne wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:See, none of you can put a structured debate together, it's the usual members. Just start taking the p!ss as usual.


Stone Motif wrote:The three mentioned have an asset against which investment can be secured. Ospreys don't.

Above is a statement that Stone Motif made. It is false, I called him out on it, then marty took his chance as per usual to hump the leg of anyone who would disagree with me.

So again, I will ask the question, what assets do the the other three regions have that an investment can be secured against, and Ospreys do not have ?

Are any of you two going to answer that question or are you going to hide behind taking the p!ss ?

And again, the answer is that WRU investment would have been covered by the ground, same as Dave Parade. Cardiff didn't take that option as Newport RFC did. They could have, hence there was a prize piece of real estate that could have been leveraged to secure your 'WRU bailout'.  They'd have not got this deal out of Swansea Council and a covenant including a tenant paying £300k over 37 years is worth a sight more than it would cost to set up a region in North Wales.

Cardiff Blues do not have that bargaining power, the land is owned by Cardiff Athletic Club

Newport Gwent Dragons do not have that bargaining power,he land is owned by....

Newport RFC had to agree to it, Cardiff Athletic Club will NOT (this is for you Bam Bam) Cardiff Blues have no call on Cardiff Arms Park

wayne, for somebody who claims they are in the business he is not very clued up is he ?

The difference is, the owner of Newport RFC was running Dragons, that's why he agreed to it. CAC do not hold any ties to Cardiff Blues, they are just the landlord. They could just as easy kick them out of there if they wanted.

For whatever reason, he is dancing around that one fundamental fact. Rolling Eyes
What else do you expect from a lavatory attendant Lord
You have me mistaken for the bloke about to switch the lights out at TOTR
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Post by Brendan on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:07 pm

I know it's been glossed over but have Scarlets not said this whole mess is down to the Ospreys going to the Scarlets then going to the Blues (backs up earlier reports) then back to the Scarlets with their tail between their legs.

They then agree terms and tell their players on Monday there will be a merger that must be rubber stamped. They then go to the meeting and decide they are not going ahead at its all the WRUs fault

WRUs role looking to set up a forth team to fulfil contract obligations and give their blessing to the merger
Dragons role was they agreed to get less funding as a development team (taking one for the team)
Scarlets role was making sure that they had a say over things and that their Region was not put out.
Blues listened to the offer (and probably said something along the lines of 2003)

Ospreys role seems to be the perpetrators acting as the victim blaming the one party who played no role except setting up a backup plan.

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:09 pm

wayne wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
wayne wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
wayne wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
wayne wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:See, none of you can put a structured debate together, it's the usual members. Just start taking the p!ss as usual.


Stone Motif wrote:The three mentioned have an asset against which investment can be secured. Ospreys don't.

Above is a statement that Stone Motif made. It is false, I called him out on it, then marty took his chance as per usual to hump the leg of anyone who would disagree with me.

So again, I will ask the question, what assets do the the other three regions have that an investment can be secured against, and Ospreys do not have ?

Are any of you two going to answer that question or are you going to hide behind taking the p!ss ?

And again, the answer is that WRU investment would have been covered by the ground, same as Dave Parade. Cardiff didn't take that option as Newport RFC did. They could have, hence there was a prize piece of real estate that could have been leveraged to secure your 'WRU bailout'.  They'd have not got this deal out of Swansea Council and a covenant including a tenant paying £300k over 37 years is worth a sight more than it would cost to set up a region in North Wales.

Cardiff Blues do not have that bargaining power, the land is owned by Cardiff Athletic Club

Newport Gwent Dragons do not have that bargaining power,he land is owned by....

Newport RFC had to agree to it, Cardiff Athletic Club will NOT (this is for you Bam Bam) Cardiff Blues have no call on Cardiff Arms Park
EXACTLY what I said, doofuss. You should have done something productive during your hiatus like learning to read.
So Cardiff Blues have no assets CONTRARY to what you said, they are exactly the same as the Ospreys, you're the one that needs to be able to read and comprehend.
Not what I said at all - there was an asset against any proposed investment by the WRU into CAC which would have directly helped the Blues

Are you for real, how many years have the WRU been trying to buy the carbuncle off CAC, they are not interested, you're squirming and can't justify your point. Give it up FFS
Cardiff Blues are exactly the same as the Ospreys. You really need to go and see someone about your hatred for TOTR. I really wonder what someone within our organisation has done to you, for you to be in this state of mind.
Do you want to translate this into English and make a point, or shall I just assume it's your usual BANAL, VAPID BS?
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:10 pm

Brendan wrote:I know it's been glossed over but have Scarlets not said this whole mess is down to the Ospreys going to the Scarlets then going to the Blues (backs up earlier reports) then back to the Scarlets with their tail between their legs.

They then agree terms and tell their players on Monday there will be a merger that must be rubber stamped. They then go to the meeting and decide they are not going ahead at its all the WRUs fault

WRUs role looking to set up a forth team to fulfil contract obligations and give their blessing to the merger
Dragons role was they agreed to get less funding as a development team (taking one for the team)
Scarlets role was making sure that they had a say over things and that their Region was not put out.
Blues listened to the offer (and probably said something along the lines of 2003)

Ospreys role seems to be the perpetrators acting as the victim blaming the one party who played no role except setting up a backup plan.

If you could just point this out to WAYNE, Andy and No9 and their two collective brain cells that would be great.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:11 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Stone Motif wrote:Irrelevant to the point I'm making.

Only in your warped mind. Rolling Eyes

The point you are trying to make is nonsense, just as is merging the two best teams in Wales, and leaving the two abject failures carry on.

Take that up with the Ospreys Dowlais, it sounds like it was their idea.

Seriously, I don't know what's caused you to have a problem with all things Newport, but it's clouding your judgement.

An entrepreneur from Merthyr who supports Cardiff Blues (apparently), yet loves the Ospreys and hates 'Newport Dragons' - if that's not embracing regionalism I don't know what is Wink.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:19 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I find it disgusting that people on the NHS are not getting annual pay rises in Wales, yet the Welsh government are willing to put 12 million pounds into a rugby project.

I can't think of anyone bar general managers and CEO's that get an annual pay-rise (for doing f''k all) in the UK, which is why it makes sense to move abroad Smile.

Loads and loads of jobs in the UK have annual pay rises - those jobs with pay bands which have annual increments. I’m on one of those. Most public sector, teachers, civil servants, etc. Actually, most NHS jobs are on pay bands and you move to the next increment on the pay scale annually, so LD is incorrect again there!
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:21 pm

If there' a sum of 12M floating around then it would be a waste putting it into a north wales team, as they'd probably cost 12M per year if you want to create a pro team there and have them hit the ground running. You could invest 1-2M right now into structures around there which would help them prepare for pro rugby; the next step up would be entering the A-team competition, a competition they would need to dominate for a few years before they can enter the Pro14. If none of this crossed the minds of the men at the WRU then they really shouldn't be in a job.

The rest of this sum can be invested into the regions on top of what they already get, as well as central or dual contract the pro players - do that and we might see them be a little more competitive for the next year or two. After that we can discuss 'project reset' again Smile.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:26 pm

The Oracle wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I find it disgusting that people on the NHS are not getting annual pay rises in Wales, yet the Welsh government are willing to put 12 million pounds into a rugby project.

I can't think of anyone bar general managers and CEO's that get an annual pay-rise (for doing f''k all) in the UK, which is why it makes sense to move abroad Smile.

Loads and loads of jobs in the UK have annual pay rises - those jobs with pay bands which have annual increments. I’m on one of those. Most public sector, teachers, civil servants, etc. Actually, most NHS jobs are on pay bands and you move to the next increment on the pay scale annually, so LD is incorrect again there!

Yeah you're right there. I used to work in a government setting and there are various types of pay bands between organizations, albeit the pay-rise isn't really significant unless you're high up. Even the pay for professionals in HR (just one example) is pretty poor, given all the hard work they do and loans they take out to get to their position. Also I was in a sector that was part-privatized - absolute rubbish employers; no hope for a significant pay-rise, no job-rotation, no hope for promotion, and worst of all as stingey as the Americans on holidays, bank holidays and weekends.

If you want a good government job in Newport work for IPO where there are never any openings.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:33 pm

https://www.scarlets.wales/en/team-news/articles/to-scarlets-supporters-everywhere/

Pretty easy to see who Scarlets are blaming for this little kerfuffle.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 6:41 pm

Oh what do you know it's the beloved one true regions fault Rolling Eyes

Seriously you do have to question why they've been putting these guys onto their board since its formation. When they had money they had one of the finest squads ever assembled, and batted way below their weight. They promote Tandy on the back of a good season with a semi-pro team, and when sacked they replace him with his evil sidekick; the one chased out of Ulster. The less said about the halfbacks you signed up the better.

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Post by exile jack on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 7:33 pm

Trying to avoid the sensitive territorial issues my questions to the WRU would be:
1)Where is the full business plan for the N.Wales region?
2)What estimate has been made of the annual sum necessary and sufficient to run a fully resourced Region inclusive of community and academy provision?
3)Is it true that the N.Wales region proposal is entirely a WRU idea presented to the other Regions as a fait accompli and when was it first presented as WRU policy?
5)Have the Welsh Assembly been in discussions with the WRU over the N.Wales proposal and when did such discussions start?
6)Is it true that the Scarlets asked for a 70/30 split in their favour regarding a merger with the Ospreys?
7)Have any merger discussions taken place between the Blues and the Dragons.If so,when and with what outcome and if not,why not?
8)Where will a new from the ground up N.Wales Region get 30-40 Pro 14 standard players from?
9)Have McBryde and/or Howley been promised coaching jobs with a N.Wales region?

Just asking as the Ospreys lawyers will be.


Last edited by exile jack on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 11:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : New info.)

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 7:51 pm

Hoorayy

the Dragons supporters with their chips on their shoulders are all on here to tell me how it is. Yahoo

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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 7:52 pm

exile jack wrote:Trying to avoid the sensitive territorial issues my questions to the WRU would be:
1)Where is the full business plan for the N.Wales region?
2)What estimate has been made of the annual sum necessary and sufficient to run a fully resourced Region inclusive of community and academy provision?
3)Is it true that the N.Wales region proposal is entirely a WRU idea presented to the other Regions as a fait accompli and when was it first presented as WRU policy?
5)Have the Welsh Assembly been in discussions with the WRU over the N.Wales proposal and when did such discussions start?
6)Is it true that the Scarlets asked for a 70/30 split in their favour regarding a merger with the Ospreys?
7)Have any merger discussions taken place between the Blues and the Dragons.If so,when and with what outcome and if not,why not?
8)Where will a new from the ground up N.Wales Region get 30-40 Pro 14 standard players from?
9)Have McBryde and/or Howley been promised coaching jobs with a N.Wales region?

Just asking.

Is there an epidemic of meaningless management speak afflicting the people of west Glamorgan this evening?

Aside from the fact the Ospreys are skint and the instigators of the merger, WTF were he WRU having been presented with the Ospreys plans and being contractually obliged to enter four teams into the PrO'14 for next season?
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 7:53 pm

exile jack wrote:Trying to avoid the sensitive territorial issues my questions to the WRU would be:
1)Where is the full business plan for the N.Wales region?
2)What estimate has been made of the annual sum necessary and sufficient to run a fully resourced Region inclusive of community and academy provision?
3)Is it true that the N.Wales region proposal is entirely a WRU idea presented to the other Regions as a fait accompli and when was it first presented as WRU policy?
5)Have the Welsh Assembly been in discussions with the WRU over the N.Wales proposal and when did such discussions start?
6)Is it true that the Scarlets asked for a 70/30 split in their favour regarding a merger with the Ospreys?
7)Have any merger discussions taken place between the Blues and the Dragons.If so,when and with what outcome and if not,why not?
8)Where will a new from the ground up N.Wales Region get 30-40 Pro 14 standard players from?
9)Have McBryde and/or Howley been promised coaching jobs with a N.Wales region?

Just asking.

Is there an epidemic of meaningless management speak afflicting the people of west Glamorgan this evening?

Aside from the fact the Ospreys are skint and the instigators of the merger, WTF were he WRU having been presented with the Ospreys plans and being contractually obliged to enter four teams into the PrO'14 for next season, supposed to do?
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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 7:53 pm

Ah well, another statement from Ospreys:-

Incoming Ospreys chairman Rob Davies said today he would be pressing WRU and PRB officials for a clear timetable and actions surrounding Project Reset as well as reminding them of their duty to comprehensively address options for the future of regional rugby.

Rob Davies said:

“There are three stark realities. Firstly, the concept of an Ospreys-Scarlets merger is dead and the clock is ticking. Secondly, Wales was promised a comprehensive review with nothing off the table, but nothing has yet been put on the table. Thirdly, the PRB cynically left it to the regions to have a shoot-out for survival with the clear direction that a region in the West should go and make room for a fourth in the North. We are now where we are as a result.

“It’s hard to look at this situation and not conclude that a stitch-up of convenience has just unravelled before us all. There isn’t a ‘plan B’, because there was never a ‘plan A’. Even the PRB has said a western merger was central to their planning, which is frankly mind-boggling. Wishful thinking is not an acceptable replacement for responsible decision-making.

“It’s now time for the grown-ups to get back in the room. It’s time for experienced strategic planning, robust consultation and a methodical process to emerge that is transparent, timely and carries with it the full range of the sport’s stakeholders. And this is what I will be discussing with Union and PRB officials over the coming days.”

http://www.ospreysrugby.com/News/Article/54265

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 8:04 pm

No one wants to merge win the Dragons, it seems. Makes sense though as I reckon the Dragons have been earmarked to be a development region. Along with the North. So two fully funded pro sides and two development teams. So that leaves the other 3 Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys to fight it out amongst themselves for who merge with who. Merge with the Dragons by all means, but you’ll then be a development team full of kids. Anyone up for that?
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 8:09 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Hoorayy

the Dragons supporters with their chips on their shoulders are all on here to tell me how it is. Yahoo

Maybe instead of your usual victim card you could man up and admit you had this completely 4rse backwards just for a change
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 8:11 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Ah well, another statement from Ospreys:-

Incoming Ospreys chairman Rob Davies said today he would be pressing WRU and PRB officials for a clear timetable and actions surrounding Project Reset as well as reminding them of their duty to comprehensively address options for the future of regional rugby.  

Rob Davies said:

“There are three stark realities.  Firstly, the concept of an Ospreys-Scarlets merger is dead and the clock is ticking.  Secondly, Wales was promised a comprehensive review with nothing off the table, but nothing has yet been put on the table. Thirdly, the PRB cynically left it to the regions to have a shoot-out for survival with the clear direction that a region in the West should go and make room for a fourth in the North.  We are now where we are as a result.

“It’s hard to look at this situation and not conclude that a stitch-up of convenience has just unravelled before us all.  There isn’t a ‘plan B’, because there was never a ‘plan A’.  Even the PRB has said a western merger was central to their planning, which is frankly mind-boggling.  Wishful thinking is not an acceptable replacement for responsible decision-making.

“It’s now time for the grown-ups to get back in the room.  It’s time for experienced strategic planning, robust consultation and a methodical process to emerge that is transparent, timely and carries with it the full range of the sport’s stakeholders.  And this is what I will be discussing with Union and PRB officials over the coming days.”

http://www.ospreysrugby.com/News/Article/54265

Praps instead of this twaddle he could explain how he wasn't one of the grown ups present when his organisation signed heads of terms on a merger
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Post by Stone Motif on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 8:12 pm

The Oracle wrote:No one wants to merge win the Dragons, it seems. Makes sense though as I reckon the Dragons have been earmarked to be a development region. Along with the North. So two fully funded pro sides and two development teams. So that leaves the other 3 Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys to fight it out amongst themselves for who merge with who. Merge with the Dragons by all means, but you’ll then be a development team full of kids. Anyone up for that?

Or, looking at it another way we could pay our players their wages so it was unnecessary for us to have to merge
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 9:54 pm

A quote from Brian Moore in 2013. Very true, and still true now:

Professional Rugby Board (PRB) ? / Project Reset - Page 7 B814b510
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Post by Brendan on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 10:29 pm

Is the Ospreys approach to the situation fund us because you have no other choice. Statements from Scarlets back up the reports that were floating around over the last month.

If the WRU are only willing to fund the Ospreys to developmental what do Ospreys do then

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Post by Guest on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 9:58 am

Kingshu wrote:Making a new regions will set things back years but completely neutral teams not attached to the old clubs have the potentional to attract more fans than the super clubs in the long run. Success will bring the fans back, Ospreys previously mananged this when they had the glalaticos, and the Ospreys shirt was one of the most popular in the UK.

The reality is, although that makes 'sense' on the surface of things, merging/disbanding any region, let alone ripping all 4 up and starting again, is such a monumental risk it's almost impossible to guarantee that the 'potential' would be realised: as many will tell you, you're more likely to disenfranchise both ardent Llanelli and Cardiff fans (and those who've taken to the Ospreys and Dragons as well) to the point the support may never recover. It's not just a case of the older generation 'dying out' and the new fans coming 'fresh' to these new regions - we're still going on about Valleys rugby and having to justify the lack of a direct region following the Celtic Warriors' folding. It's not just a case of the grandfather not supporting the region, but the generations beneath him getting behind the new non-connected, non-traditional regions (still based in the major cities and populations; still playing at the 'old' regional grounds etc. - there can never be a clean break, but let's just park that for now). It's a really flawed way of viewing possible behaviour that, although rational and logical in some ways, completely ignores the reality that has already happened, and is likely to happen based on identity and other factors.

To say the game has changed since 05-06 is a massive understatement. In every possible way, rugby has morphed into a very different beast, both on and off the field. And wider culture has changed too, with the prevalence and improvement of internet and computing technology (phones, tablets, streaming) being the main change - because rugby doesn't just exist in a vacuum.

The reality is, success breeds success. You're right about that. 2005 stirred something in Wales that had been brewing for a while thanks to the Kiwi coaches, and the Ospreys were at the heart of that as they had Shane, Henson, Ryan Jones at the heart of their side and then a season or two later, Hook, Mike Phillips, Lee Byrne as well. Add in quality like Justin Marshall and Filo Tiatia and it made them a really good team mainly made up of the Welsh national side/squad. Also, the fact they were playing at a new stadium, and so able to forge and identity inextricably linked to the ground, which no other region could, and the Llanelli/Scarlets shirts you used to see all over Wales slowly got replaced by black Ospreys ones. They won league titles but underperformed in Europe. The reality is they had poor coaches and had they looked outside Wales, which is now expected, would likely have got to a few semi-finals in the Heineken Cup.

But that Ospreys hasn't existed for a good 7-8 years. Around the time Cuddy left, the slow decline accelerated rapidly and now even the Blues have surpassed them on the field, and off the field they are finished. Swansea RFC and Neath RFC have their own problems as well with what's happened at the level below, with Neath on the verge of ceasing to exist as well. So forget about shirt sales - and not just because of Fortnite, either.

Since '05, Swansea and Cardiff football clubs have both been promoted to, and relegated from, the Premier League. Swansea were in the 4th tier of English football in 05 and Cardiff had been stuck in the 2nd tier for years. Both have had shocking ownership issues, Cardiff changed their kit colour and went through a fan boycott, and Swansea still have serious issues and look like they've mismanaged the club to the point it will take a number of years to become stable at Championship level in a financial sense, let alone challenge for promotion back to the Premier League (unlikely to happen, most people see a lot more pain in the near future). And in spite of all that they have well and truly captured the fans (for the most part) to both attend and spread the game because of their success...but also because it's football. With Wales also getting to the Euros in 2016, and having a good few years in the run up to that, it's shone a light on the fact that football is the biggest sport in Wales. Rugby may still be the national sport but only in a nominal, historical, romantic sense. Rugby's still only Wales' national game if you view things through life through the lens of an Eddie Butler montage: it might feel that way at the MS in the 6Ns but that's as far as it goes. The drop off is clear - everyone loves Wales at the MS but, in reality, Wales is a footballing country before it's a rugby one (and there are too many reasons for that, not least because of the sport itself and the difficulties it brings v football; I'd also say cultural/class problems as well in terms of keeping up with the times v football and the way rugby is played at universities and academies). The Dragons won't come close to getting the support Newport County do - look at their recent F.A. Cup run; even if the Dragons were in the Heineken Cup you wouldn't see the same turnout, and that's comparing against a team that's been funded from non-league football to England's 4th tier. For all the Gog bashing about football up there, football is the biggest sport in South Wales as well: only in Llanelli could you say rugby is number one, another primary reason why the Scarlets have flourished.

The reality is Welsh rugby needs to stop looking to the past and start looking clearly and honestly at itself. It's no good looking to the recent past and saying 'well, that worked then, we just need to get back to what we used to do and we'll be back on the right track!'. Doesn't work like that. What is Wales right now - geographically, economically, socio-culturally. And where is it going to be in the next 15-20 years, and how does rugby fit in with that? Those are the key questions and, frankly, I have no idea how to answer them - Wales' problems are far, far deeper and far more complex then just rugby or sport in general. Club rugby participation is just a symptom of that.

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Post by Guest on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 10:44 am

Ultimately, I disagree wholeheartedly that there is an issue with regional super clubs. And here's why:

- Talking about localism in any tangible sense is pointless. You can say the regions are poorly supported because they don't represent the traditional towns and villages that had/still have fierce rivalries with one another. And that, by creating super-club-regions, many were disenfranchised: that's true, but only to a point. Club rugby has been decimated by regional rugby but, also, it's poorly supported, poorly managed, and poor on the field as well. Not all of that is down to the regions; the regions were created because this was true 20 years ago. Localism is dying because the towns and villages are in decline: identity diminishes when where you live is defined as a commuter town of the city many people commute to for work. The fundamental reality is, more and more, the economic landscape is one that relies on large, perhaps multinational businesses employing people in large urban areas. Industry as it was left the Valleys and other 'heartlands' of Wales a long time ago; it won't be long until the bus driver and the checkout girl have been replaced by automation as well. Rugby clubs and engaging with your local team - whether that's supporting, playing, coaching or whatever - is another part of that, just as Church attendance and pub/club-centric communities have declined, too. The long and the short of it is - the 'thing' that created and maintained standards in Welsh rugby, and offered promotion in to the national team, hasn't existed for a long time. Very rarely, one or two slip back up the system, like Liam Williams, but by and large the standards of club rugby are so poor it's basically a separate entity to the pro game - as the WRU is now treating it, with two different branches. The club game needs invigorating but there's no easy way of doing that, and it's not a major concern for the pro game at the moment. Where Eng/Ire/Sco have private schools to basically act as concentrated hubs of wealth and talent, producing players who go on to play pro rugby, Wales has no such concentrated hub and is too dilluted outside the academies to really produce any quality foundation below the pathway or pro systems. Ireland also has related GAA sports that no doubt help with rugby skills too. That wider cultural point is one I think Wales should focus on - fitness and health in general, not just rugby - but, again, it's not the pro game's concern. We like to mythologise the miners and farmers of yesteryear; simply having a fitter and healthier population (that doesn't mean on the roids...) could go a long way to improving the baseline level of rugby/communities as well. Focusing on encouraging and then continuing sport inside and outside schools is key.

- So, with identification with local communities on the decline (particularly for anyone under 25, maybe even up to 40), I see literally zero evidence that someone from Neath would support a 'new' West Wales region over the Neath-Swansea Ospreys, or someone from Pontypridd support a South or East region over the Blues or Warriors, as they were in '03 (pretending the current regions haven't had the development of an identity and success that they have in the intervening 16 years; and also, Neath isn't really West Wales and Pontypridd isn't really East Wales, but for another time...). Maybe you get a few hundred partisan Neath fans who resented supporting a Swansea-based team. But let's say the new West Wales team plays in Swansea as well, because, you know, second City, Liberty stadium, the wider catchment area etc. And let's say they play in...a multi-coloured strip. Because what colour do you pick? Do you choose scarlet, black, or white? Well, no - because this is a new region, totally devoid of any connection to the last. Again, do you see the problem here? It's a bureaucracy at its worst: a 'logical' failure based on trying to avoid 'offending' anyone by creating something 'new', and thereby creating a team utterly devoid of any attachment - historical or cultural - to the people and the amateur and semi-pro rugby clubs that feed it. Genuine question: do you think the absence of an identity is likely to attract more fans than were 'lost' by the creation of the regions in the first place? Perhaps impossible to answer, but I suspect not; an identity would be created anyway, and I'd argue - taking just West Wales - neither would come close to what the Scarlets currently have, or what the Ospreys successfully created in the first 8-9 years or so of their existence. One thing I think is also overlooked is where players come from; quite a few Scarlets have come from Pembrokeshire in recent years. Having that connection to the county will help not only their families/towns/clubs get right behind the Scarlets because they know one of the players personally, but that has a ripple effect as well - friends of friends etc. start to build that connection, not just because of the loca player, and the fact they're the nearest region, but also because there is an existing community of fans to join in with. Again, why I think the Dragons/Blues being so close is an issue, but not one that is fixed by axing/merging.

- This next part is crucial. Not only do I see no issue with super clubs, I actually believe they bring success. Is it a coincidence that the two best regions at present, as has been the case for the past 3-4 years, are basically Cardiff and Llanelli in regional form? Perhaps to a point - Ospreys were the best, with Scarlets and then the Blues behind them, for the most part of regional rugby so the two are top by default rather than merit, per se. Still, it flies in the face of your logic about bringing fans in re:identity, but the Scarlets did manage to sell out Parc y Scarlets when in the latter stages of Europe, to the point they had to install extra seats to comply with European rules. They've built their own multi-purpose stadium (the only region to own their own ground; the finance from it being a fundamental driver in their success and stability where 2 others rent and the other is owned by the WRU). Likewise, and tied in to the point above about success, the Scarlets' crowds swelled when they were doing well, and then winning, the Pro12/14. They were comfortably the best supported region in terms of attendance last year, followed by the Ospreys who were closely followed by the Blues.

The reality is the Scarlets have a mythology and romance to them that just about no other club in the UK and Ireland can compete with: from beating the All Blacks, to the brand of rugby they play, to the politics and aura of the club as well, including legendary figures who embodied certain values. Maybe Munster and Leicester can compare, but both are known for drab/forward based rugby; maybe Leinster and Saracens in modern times have surpassed them, but the point is the history is 'forever', it'll always be there to draw upon, for those employed by the region and for the fans as well. That aura draws in fans and gives the media something to talk about - particularly outside Wales when their knowledge is usually pretty poor and they're relying on cliche etc. The big 3 Irish provinces might sell-out every game, and the Scarlets struggle to get 8k through the doors, but as the European games show - the fans are 'there' in a wider sense. Literally so: many come from out west, and elsewhere in Carmarthenshire, and further afield in Wales as well. It would be an interesting thing to look into, but I'd hazard a guess that, proportionally and numerically, far more fans come from 'outside' Llanelli than do from Cardiff, Swansea, and Newport - and not just because of the relative size of those cities either.

Basically, as is the case in football, the romance and success of Liverpool FC is a big draw to people from Chester, North Wales, and Runcorn etc. Are they Scousers? No, just as the millions of Liverpool fans in China aren't, either. Do they have to identify with the city to love the club, whether that's by attending or funding it from afar? Rugby can't compare to football in that sense, but even talking about Swansea and Cardiff FC, how many fans travel from the Valleys to support Cardiff but won't go to support the Blues? The reality is the Blues shouldn't need to draw fans from outside the city; their population is such they should be selling out the Arms Park every week, topped up by nearby towns due to the success that comes from being the 'capital' club. The issue isn't super clubs; a club's old identity can work in its favour, particularly when drawing in neutrals. Both the Ospreys and Scarlets have done that well, for different reasons, but both were related to on-field success. The Blues have been hampered by the Celtic Warriors situation and not embracing regionalism sooner but they have the potential to be a standalone region that is successful in its own right, whilst embracing regionalism at the same time. Ultimately, do you really think scrapping the existing regions and creating ideologically 'pure' representative teams in their place will produce less strife than the current situation? I think there's only one answer to that, personally.

- The Irish provinces might be the most obvious place to start for a comparison to the regions, but I actually think England has the best examples of what to do right and wrong. London Welsh showed how spectacularly wrong a location move can go: it was quite clear Oxford was 'used' as a place to play, rather than a concerted effort to develop links, meaning, and therefore fans, to the ground. For people in Oxfordshire, where was the incentive to support London Welsh, other than the slim chance they had Welsh heritage and/or really like rugby and wanted a nearby club to attend (on the off chance they didn't support one already!)? A move that is sort of working is Wasps to Coventry - but that was due to Land Rover's sponsorship and, already, the finances aren't adding up. I know that many fans who attend Wasps' home games commute/travel from afar - many were old Wasps fans from the South/all over England due to their '00s success, who perhaps saw Conventry as an acceptable trip to take every other week, particularly if some away games are closer to them than the Ricoh. But no doubt they have also found loca' fans as well - the midlands is a big area, Coventry a big city, and the presitge of Wasps (and the players like Dallaglio synonymous with the team) will no doubt have helped attract new fans. However, the best example, for me, is Exeter: here is a super club that acts, in many ways, as a region. Their community work is excellent, they have absolutely loads of local players come through and play for the club and even England, and they've also basically 'absorbed' Cornwall in a way that, on the face of it, would have seemed unlikely 10 years ago. I don't think that can be replicated, as it's based on a key component - Rob Baxter and the links to being a much smaller/less successful club, and building from there: they are basically the manifestation of everything that can go right if you have a dedicated and talented group of people and are the only club in the English Premiership to run a profit. But it does show what is possible when 1. the desire is there among staff and fans/wider community to grow a 'region' from a local club and 2. it's well managed. I'd also perhaps say the absence of football (there's Plymouth, Exeter, Torquay...and that's about it until Bristol, Bournemouth etc., none of which are particularly 'big' clubs) in that area has helped massively and the culture is quite similar to parts of Wales, if more affluent - there's a preference for rugby and the culture, as well as the sport itself, over football. You only need to see how their pre-season games sell-out to recognise that this is a real rugby heartland in a way Wales hasn't been for a long, long time. I don't think the Exeter model can be replicated in Wales, but equally I don't think the Irish model is particularly relevant either; Wales is a country that has seen most of its towns, cities, and infrastructure utterly defined and even built by imperialism and industry in a way Ireland's haven't. Wales' rural communities are too disparate and sparse to really 'tap into' for a regional identity but that is where most of Wales' tradition and heritage lies - and why North Wales makes so much sense if it is viable commercially as you can effectively transplant pro sport pathways and see a very quick uptake...but not sure the rugby infrastructure and expertise is there yet. You can't just create North, South, East, and West Wales regions in the way Ireland has because that's not how the country 'is' - most people live in the South, along the M4, with Swansea and Cardiff the two main cities. Also, the money simply isn't there in the way it is for most English and Leinster fans, and probably a lot of Scottish and Irish fans as well. This isn't a wealthy country and most people don't have a lot of expendable income. Anyway, 3 regions, with the two cities and one development region in the north, makes the most sense but then - in reality - you stumble into all the above problems I've just said about identity and meaning and viability. Maybe success does come eventually if you started against with 3 but, honestly, unless you rip Cardiff from the clutches of the blazers, a professional team will never flourish there.

- The final point is really quite obvious and it relates, again, to success breeding success. Focusing just on the Dragons, they don't have bad players. There are a number of good quality individuals there, from the older Welsh internationals, to current players, to a few decent overseas signings, and a number of youngsters. The same has been true at the Blues and the Ospreys for a while as well - the Blues have finally started tapping into their potential, and it took Danny Wilson to do it (before being pushed out due to boardroom mismanagement), but ultimately the regions have had a mix of bad players and bad coaches over the years, which has created lower standards, lower expectations, and therefore lower success all round. I have no doubt if there were close to sellout crowds every game, or even just the illusion of a sellout, if the terraces looked nearly full and there was singing and cheering throughout the game in a way that galvinises the players, that would drive standards. We can talk about all the cultural factors we want but at the end of the day there have been too many poor coaches in charge of the regions - the one decent one we've brought in has been made Wales coach, which in my opinion is a mistake as they should have let him get on with the job - but that's pretty telling, isn't it. There are good players there but, especially with the pay difference relative to warming the bench/playing reserve league games at Bath, or Gloucester, or Exeter, unless you get a competitive, winning mentality in a region, you end up with what you get at the Dragons which is complacency and an expectation to lose just about every week. When the internationals are away, bar the Scarlets and maybe the Blues, I don't think the regions have players who are able to compete in - let alone challenge the top of - the domestic league; but when they get those test players back, and fit (which is rare) they're then let don by poor coaching. That's so easy to fix - and it is related to money - but would not be fixed by tearing the regions up and starting again.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 10:56 am

Miaow that is an outstanding post - one of the best I have read on 606 OK thumbsup

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 11:26 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Miaow that is an outstanding post - one of the best I have read on 606 OK thumbsup

Seconded.

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Post by Guest on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 12:30 pm

xxx

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 1:04 pm

wow miaow, that was a hard read, a very thoughtful and well thought out article, but I found it hard as I did not agree with some of it. But I will not go into it, as we could be here all day.

But one thing I will say, the major problem with Welsh rugby is people with egos. Many years ago, people who made a lot of money, by not being stupid, and more or less being ruthless, and always getting what they wanted, and they had a lot of disposable income and they neede to boost their egos, and the cool thing to do to achieve this, would be to buy a rugby club, and have loads of hangers onners.

Has anybody seen the film Twin Town, take Bryn Cartwright as an example. Very Happy

Anyway, these people do not like being told what to do, this is where we get into these peeing matches between organisations like the WRU who themselves are just people with massive egos, and it causes a massive friction between parties.

For me the timing of everything was all to pot, the WRU should have waited until it was on a more solid foundation than it was in 2003 before enforcing changes on everybody.

The WRU were skint, and in debt, they were in no position to go making changes, they needed the money men with egos. The ball was never in the WRU's court. They had to pander to the businessmen.

Now the WRU are in a decent position, and they want to do what they like, and they expect everyone to follow suit. Sorry this will not work.

The best thing the WRU can do now, is bail out Ospreys, as they have other regions in the past, they should tell the 4 regions, that they have a finite amount of time to deliver on certain goals, if not, then they could be in danger of making way for the project that is North Wales.

We are 16 years in now, why waste 16 years ? The WRU need to set standards, and goals, that are realistic, and tell the regions what is expected of them.

What the regions need is the fright of what can happen for failure, and the WRU need to remind them, that if certain goals and standards are not met, then they will give somebody else a go, like RGC1404.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 1:23 pm

The pro teams do have standards and goals, do they not? That's why Buttress et al talk about KPIs etc and what the budget structure is related to. At least that's the way I thought they would go.

I'm not sure how there is a realistic threat to say give somebody else a go though. What happens if/when this somebody else does no better or worse than the team they replaced?

Good post Miaow. This isn't a pop, but I don't have time in work to respond to that, but I will try later.

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 2:19 pm

Risca, without getting into a peeing match with each other on here, what do you think would happen to Dragons if they were still the worst performing Welsh pro side next year, and the year after.....

Nothing, that is the answer.

If there were key performance indicators in place, realistic ones, then I am sure that finishing bottom of the league year in year out is something that was needed to be improved on, and I would imagine, that would be near the top of the list when sitting in a boardroom with everything on a screen.

That's the thing with KPI, you set goals, and you strive to achieve them within a realistic time frame, perhaps the WRU could make them financially rewarded KPI's. If these KPI's are not met, what is the punishment ?

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 2:27 pm

Any KPIs and targets should obviously be set in line with playing budget - I’d like to see the pro rata’d performance of the Dragons vs the other regions based on playing budget over the years. In other words, where would Scarlets, Blues and Ospreys have finished in the league and Europe if they had a budget of £4.5m compared to the £6-7 million that they have had? That £2m or so is a huge difference, and makes a big impact on player quality and/or squad depth.

Going forward I would imagine that KPIs for development regions, if that’s what we have, would be very different from the fully funded regions. Maybe the development sides will be less about league position and silverware and more about how many players they develop and supply to the U20s/Senior Wales team in future. But they obviously shouldn’t have the same targets if their budgets are different.


Last edited by The Oracle on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 2:38 pm

The Oracle wrote:Any KPIs and targets should obviously be set in line with playing budget - I’d like to see the pro rata’d performance of the Dragons vs the other regions based on playing budget over the years. In other words, where would Scarlets, Blues and Ospreys have finished in the league and Europe if they had a budget of £4.5m compared to the £6-7 million that they have had? That £2m or so is a huge difference, and makes a bit impact on player quality and/or squad depth.

Did anybody impose a budget on the Dragons ?

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 2:50 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Any KPIs and targets should obviously be set in line with playing budget - I’d like to see the pro rata’d performance of the Dragons vs the other regions based on playing budget over the years. In other words, where would Scarlets, Blues and Ospreys have finished in the league and Europe if they had a budget of £4.5m compared to the £6-7 million that they have had? That £2m or so is a huge difference, and makes a bit impact on player quality and/or squad depth.

Did anybody impose a budget on the Dragons ?

I believe they get less from the WRU than the other regions. They can top it up of course. They all can. But the Dragons are starting from further back, so if they all manage to attract the same extra income from sponsors and backers then the Dragons would still be some way behind.

“The Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys last season shared £20.6m, according to the WRU's 2018 annual report, which worked out at about £6.86m each if shared equally, from the union. The Dragons received £6m from a separate pot.

An improved funding arrangement was actually put into place for this season with an additional £2.4m being shared by the Scarlets, Blues and Ospreys.”

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/historic-new-welsh-rugby-deal-15529995
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 2:52 pm

There isn’t a ready made team to step in though. If there were a load of pro standard players ready to go, then you could maybe threaten a team with being replaced.

Project Inept was believed to have part of the funding rewarding meeting targets. Now that has rather gone a bit awry, I don’t know what will happen with that. I would probably say that whilst teams should have to meet certain targets, they also can’t really be penalised financially when they’re already playing catch up with a fair few of the teams they compete against. In terms of Dragons, when they’re lagging behind already and need to invest in so much top quality coaching and players in key positions, then them having less money clearly wouldn’t be conducive to that.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 2:57 pm

If you are going to have 2 front line regions and 2 development regions then it is only reasonable to set lower targets for the two development regions

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Post by Stone Motif on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 3:02 pm

RiscaGame wrote:The pro teams do have standards and goals, do they not? That's why Buttress et al talk about KPIs etc and what the budget structure is related to. At least that's the way I thought they would go.

I'm not sure how there is a realistic threat to say give somebody else a go though. What happens if/when this somebody else does no better or worse than the team they replaced?

Good post Miaow. This isn't a pop, but I don't have time in work to respond to that, but I will try later.

Goes even deeper than that. Nowhere else in Wales has a better chance of making pro rugby work than the current four locations. It's madness to suggest otherwise.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 3:04 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:If you are going to have 2 front line regions and 2 development regions then it is only reasonable to set lower targets for the two development regions

The question I have is why would anyone want to support (and pay to watch) a "development" team.

We all want the team we support to play well, entertain us and hopefully win a few games. Watching your team get beat on regular basis and in the knowledge that as soon as you find a diamond they'll be moved to another team to play at the supposed next level albeit in the same league so your team will never get to have a go the top table.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 3:11 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:If you are going to have 2 front line regions and 2 development regions then it is only reasonable to set lower targets for the two development regions

The question I have is why would anyone want to support (and pay to watch) a "development" team.

We all want the team we support to play well, entertain us and hopefully win a few games. Watching your team get beat on regular basis and in the knowledge that as soon as you find a diamond they'll be moved to another team to play at the supposed next level albeit in the same league so your team will never get to have a go the top table.

It's going to be a hard sell. I've had a Dragons season ticket for years, because I'm a sucker and keep thinking 'maybe this season, maybe this season,' but if they made it official that we're a development region then I'd have to really think about renewing. As long as we're ostensibly on a par with the other regions, then in theory we can improve, climb the league and get the increase in attendance that comes from having a team that actually wins a game now and again. But if we're officially cut adrift, put on less money and with a sign around our neck that would deter any player with any ambition from signing for us (recruiting for the Dragons is tough enough as it is!) then our status as the worst region is set in stone. No hope of improvement. Sport's nothing without competition, and the hope that's associated with it.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 3:16 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:If you are going to have 2 front line regions and 2 development regions then it is only reasonable to set lower targets for the two development regions

The question I have is why would anyone want to support (and pay to watch) a "development" team.

We all want the team we support to play well, entertain us and hopefully win a few games. Watching your team get beat on regular basis and in the knowledge that as soon as you find a diamond they'll be moved to another team to play at the supposed next level albeit in the same league so your team will never get to have a go the top table.

Definitely agree. But the same can be said for a made up team - why would anyone want to support (and pay to watch) a team that the WRU has just created with no history or culture just to get a good and fair ‘spread’ and coverage around the country. On paper, a nice neat N, S, E, W spread of teams would be really fair and would cover the whole country and all fans would feel included. But that’s not how sport works. Whose teams are they, exactly? On the one hand they’re saying that a North Wales team is needed as there’s nothing there currently, but on the other hand they’re not actually going for West and East either. They couldn’t, as proper west and proper east Wales could not support pro rugby. So instead they’re suggesting using existing sides on the M4 corridor, to the east or west of the south team, presumably because there is history and culture and fan base already. They’re contradicting theselves! And, just as in 2003, it’s going to be a quasi-regional product which is neither one thing or another and no-one will want to claim responsibility if they are not successful (see owners/backers vs WRU currently, and the blame game going on).
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Post by marty2086 on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 4:06 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:If you are going to have 2 front line regions and 2 development regions then it is only reasonable to set lower targets for the two development regions

The question I have is why would anyone want to support (and pay to watch) a "development" team.

We all want the team we support to play well, entertain us and hopefully win a few games. Watching your team get beat on regular basis and in the knowledge that as soon as you find a diamond they'll be moved to another team to play at the supposed next level albeit in the same league so your team will never get to have a go the top table.

Why would anyone want to watch a team like this you mean?

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 4:11 pm

I think that Connacht are not a development team anymore !

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