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The Slide of the Welsh regions.

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The Slide of the Welsh regions. Empty The Slide of the Welsh regions.

Post by Kingshu Sun 17 Nov 2013, 11:00 am

Currently the top ranked region in Europe according to EuroTable are the Ospreys.

They are currently ranked 20th!This time last year they were 8th and the year before 9th

http://www.eurorugby.com/modules.php?name=Rhistorical

Scarlets currently 21st this time last year 16th and year before 18th
Cardiff Blues currently 32nd this time last year 27th and year before 25th
Dragons currently 33rd this time last year 36th and year before 29th

It appears that since the Exodus really started to gather place (about 2 years ago), that every one of the regions have gone backwards. They may be other factors in play as well, such as benefactors not willing to invest as much etc etc.

But it does appear clear that the regions are not able to replace the players that are leaving, with the same quality of player (maybe Scarlets), and their on pitch performances have suffered.

This is bad news for Welsh fans, and fans of the other teams as well.

The Question is, do you believe that the WRU, RRW, PRGB and the efforts of the League as a whole will be able to readdress the slide?

Things to consider
New Sky deal from next year, will help finances.
RRW have come out in support of RCC, without WRU consent and have threatened to break from Union.
Would the WRU replace them with teams they control? Where would they play? and would they get any support?
Will WRU drop to 3 better funded regions?
Crowds are growing.
Stats could be said to be misleading, Ospreys are rebuilding and will come back, Scarlets Dragons are about the same over the time, Blues have slipped and are rebuilding, all kinda entered the rebuilding phase at same time when shifted more focus to homegrown. (However only having one team scraping into the top 20 must still be worrying).
After new European cup agree RRW and WRU should be able to work together, but are fighting for control with each other until it's settled, meaning regions are unsettled.

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Post by Kingshu Sun 17 Nov 2013, 11:22 am

My personal opinion is that things will remain pretty much the same for the forseeble future.

RRW and WRU will make little change and keep playing a game of one upmanship with each other.

Ospreys will climb the rankings again, Blues will move back to top 15-25, Scarlets and Dragons will stay fairly constant and move +/- about 8 places.

So where as I do believe the slide is maybe more down to rebuilding for a few teams, than falling standards, the exodus is still partially to blame. While I don't think they will slip further, I also do not see the improving to any great extent without some drastic changes.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 17 Nov 2013, 2:25 pm

I think the current issue is that younger players are moving abroad where as before it was the internationals around the 30 mark looking for a final pay day. The WRU need to start making it known that uncapped players outside Wales are considered unavailable for international rugby. That may help stem the flow of young talent as for a Welshman the biggest thing is to wear the red for your country.

The additional finance provided by the Sky deal should enable the regions to add some quality NWQ players to improve their squads and once more competitive they will be able to lure back the exile players.

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Post by quinsforever Sun 17 Nov 2013, 3:06 pm

Get out of the rabo at the next available opportunity and negotiate for the regions to join an expanded premiership, and scrap the LV Cup.

more money. less travel costs. better crowds for anglo-welsh club games (probably). better standard of league.

am sure the RCC qualification spots issue could be tweaked appropriately. Regions would have to accept possibility of relegation like PRL clubs though.

it's an out-there idea, but from the outside it does seem like something radical is needed to get the welsh regions anywhere near the standard they should be capable of based on national team performance.

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Post by Guest Sun 17 Nov 2013, 4:39 pm

We couldn't do relegation under the current regional format, so that suggestion is a no go I'm afraid.

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Post by Kingshu Sun 17 Nov 2013, 5:47 pm

Even if joining Prem was an option, without WRU support would they last?

It did happen in the past Cardiff and Swansea joining for a season, but I think alot has changed since then and clubs have to be members of the RFU.

Would the RFU sanction the move and risk failing out with the WRU? If staying members of WRU it become a cross nation tournament and would need the WRU, RFU and IRB to sanction it. Would the WRU really let them leave and have to deal with the PLR instead of the RRW?

I believe that they have signed up to the Pro 12 for at least 3 more years, breaking that contract would cost them.

So as much as some English or Welsh fans would like it I don't really think that it's an option, and for Professional rugby to survive in Wales its in making the Pro 12 work.

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Post by quinsforever Sun 17 Nov 2013, 6:08 pm

i recognise there are plenty of obstacles. but i would love to see it happen eventually. i'm english but grew up 200m from the old arms park and penarth and think the prl would be awesome with 4 welsh clubs.

i think you're right rabo has another 2 and a half years to run.

wru should really support the regions if they were being grownups. it makes an awful lot of financial sense to get into bed with prl and rfu. i suspect that roger lewis doesnt want to give up or be perceived to give up any power though.

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Post by The Saint Sun 17 Nov 2013, 8:25 pm

Why did you feel the need to post another article on the subject you create an article about every 2-3 months? Couldn't you have just brought one of them back up?

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Post by Sidestep Mon 18 Nov 2013, 3:34 am

In this instance I think Quins was just making his point, and this is the most relevant current post in which to do that.
No need to shoot him down without a measured response saint.
I personally would like to see the Rabo survive.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 18 Nov 2013, 5:23 am

The main stumbling block to any Angle-Welsh league would be that of Relegation, the Regions wouldn't agree to relegation whilst the English wouldn't agree to theRegions being ring fenced.
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Post by Guest Mon 18 Nov 2013, 8:40 am

Sidestep wrote:In this instance I think Quins was just making his point, and this is the most relevant current post in which to do that.
No need to shoot him down without a measured response saint.
I personally would like to see the Rabo survive.

Sidestep, I think Saint was referring to the author of the article, Kingshu. He's an Irish poster, but comes up with a Welsh Regions thread every month or so!

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Mon 18 Nov 2013, 9:24 am

To be honest you could argue that the Scarlets, Dragons and Ospreys are all improving this season.

Ospreys went nowhere in the HEC and Rabo last year, this year they are playing pretty well in the Rabo and sitting in the play-off spots

Scarlets have been woeful in the HEC, and at the moment are sitting at the top of the group with contains Clermont, Racing and Quins.

Dragons traditional whipping boys and expected to be battling with Zebre for bottom place (according to some predictions on here pre-season) and are sitting comfortably mid table, and are looking to finish second/third region this season.

And all of this on a reduced wage bill, and with the whole HEC poop storm, WRU/RRW backbiting and the rest of the cack hanging over our heads, I think to be totally truthful you could easily say the regions are preforming well.
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Post by Kingshu Mon 18 Nov 2013, 10:33 am

To be fair, I do a fair number of articles on the regions, part of it is i'm in work, bored, but mainly its that they are the most interesting teams in the League.

From there birth they have created debate, have the old super club V region thing, the RRW V WRU, the clubs that formed them, the debates about devision within their own region, player exodus, exciting young players, they have it all, also I think that the success of the Pro 12 depends on how much the Welsh people get behind the regions.

They are 606's dream, no other teams are half as interesting. You don't have public fall outs between the Provinces/Districts and the IRFU/SRU.

The only other team that could create the same interest is Benetton Treviso, but I don't think we would really find out to much about them, even though they have a similar history.

Benetton Rugby Treviso refused to form one club with Duchi Nord-Ovest to represent the Veneto region and nearly lost out to Praetorians Roma, but after they failed to satisfy the evaluators Treviso were entered.
FIR has one team that they own and operate (Zebre) and a private club in Treviso and it is also of interest how these will get on, and which model will work out best for Italian rugby.

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Post by XR Mon 18 Nov 2013, 10:46 am

We (blues) haven't recovered from a majority of our senior players leaving/retiring. IN the space of 2 seasons we lost M Williams, Rush, Blair, Tito, Molitika, Nicky Robinson, Jamie Robinson, Deiniol Jones, Gareth Williams and a few more. I know Jones & G Williams weren't world beaters but they were very capable regional players and did their jobs.

It was a lack of succession planning, there was no one really ready to plug the gaps these players left. We had 1/2p to go in for blair and warburton in for Martyn but we've never really replaced Rushy & Tito, Molitika was a grafting 6 which we haven't got and we never replaced nicky or jamie.

We're now only starting to do this and it's affected us big time.

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Post by Impossible Standards Mon 18 Nov 2013, 12:09 pm

The additional finance provided by the Sky deal should enable the regions to add some quality NWQ players to improve their squads and once more competitive they will be able to lure back the exile players.
To be honest this in my opinion is one of the reasons why we are in trouble. The regions had a number of expensive NQW players on the books which meant that no replacements were found in the academies. This unsustainable structure has since collapsed now that the benefactors have all withdrawn most of their money. We are now in the rebuilding process and doing what the regions were set out to do and that's produce Welsh players. If more money comes in from Sky I hope the regions don't spend it all on a few NWQ players and reserve some for the younger players and quality coaches!
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Post by Sidestep Mon 18 Nov 2013, 3:20 pm

Griff wrote:
Sidestep wrote:In this instance I think Quins was just making his point, and this is the most relevant current post in which to do that.
No need to shoot him down without a measured response saint.
I personally would like to see the Rabo survive.
Sidestep, I think Saint was referring to the author of the article, Kingshu.  He's an Irish poster, but comes up with a Welsh Regions thread every month or so!  
Oh I see. Thanks for that Griff. And apologies saint. Jeez. My first post and I'm misquoting and joining a discussion at a tangent.
Right into the swing of things. Very Happy. Joke..

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Post by quinsforever Mon 18 Nov 2013, 3:32 pm

you got deceived by the dummy runner Wink 

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Post by Sidestep Mon 18 Nov 2013, 3:57 pm

Haha. True. Play the ball not the man. Smile

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Post by Stone Motif Mon 18 Nov 2013, 10:42 pm

Impossible Standards wrote:
The additional finance provided by the Sky deal should enable the regions to add some quality NWQ players to improve their squads and once more competitive they will be able to lure back the exile players.
To be honest this in my opinion is one of the reasons why we are in trouble. The regions had a number of expensive NQW players on the books which meant that no replacements were found in the academies. This unsustainable structure has since collapsed now that the benefactors have all withdrawn most of their money. We are now in the rebuilding process and doing what the regions were set out to do and that's produce Welsh players. If more money comes in from Sky I hope the regions don't spend it all on a few NWQ players and reserve some for the younger players and quality coaches!
Who says NWQ players are more expensive than WQ ones?

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Post by Stone Motif Mon 18 Nov 2013, 10:44 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:The main stumbling block to any Angle-Welsh league would be that of Relegation, the Regions wouldn't agree to relegation whilst the English wouldn't agree to theRegions being ring fenced.
Don't agree with that at all. With the requirements of the grounds etc for promotion (some of which have been disregarded as far as I can see for 'established' clubs, the English Prem is pretty much ring-fenced anyway. Plus promotion and relegation would allow the Championship (more or less fully pro) to expand, and unlock a further shedload of money from BT that is held back for cross border competition.
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Post by Bluedragon Mon 18 Nov 2013, 11:10 pm

I think some of the issue is financial. All 4 regions get the same amount of WRU money, regardless of how many Welsh internationals they have in the Welsh squad. the ospreys realised it first, when they were paying most of the welsh team but alos having to employ other players to cover them whilst absent with Wales duty, then the Blues and more recently the Scarlets. A good example is Jamie Roberts. the Blues realised they were paying jamie Roberts' extensive wages and yet he was only playing 5 or 6 games a season for them, playing more for Team Wales than the Blues. Its more cost effective to get him off their wage bill and employ 2 other players who are available for most of the season and can cover injuries, wales call ups etc.

Team Wales has been dubbed the 5th region as they actually play at the same time as the regions and actually compete for crowds and sponsorship with the regions. the only way to keep Welsh internationals playing for welsh teams is to sort out the crazy chaotic season and fixture list, and somehow link the wru money to the actual amount of players at the region who are in the wales squad. Otherwise its cheaper to not have welsh squad players on your books as they don't play many games anyway.

I would love to see the season restructured to play in 3 conferences - British A, British B, and France / Italy, then playoffs to find Euro champion. Maybe up to Xmas there could be a sort of mini local league, so english / celts etc. Theres got to be a bette rway than the current Pro 12 / Heineken / LV dogs dinner fixtures list !!!!!!

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Post by George Carlin Wed 20 Nov 2013, 9:52 am

How are these ratings compiled?
 
I was fascinated to see that Glasgow are apparently 7th, ahead of Toulouse, Tigers, Castres, Racing Metro and Munster. And apparently we c*cked something up in the autumn that meant we lost a previous position of 5th! Obviously, I would say that these people have wisdom beyond their years but practically speaking, can you really read much into this?
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Post by geoff998rugby Wed 20 Nov 2013, 10:00 am

Bluedragon wrote: I would love to see the season restructured to play in 3 conferences - British A, British B, and France / Italy
So you don't want the Irish involved Crying or Very sad 

Mind you means someone else would have a chance of winning I suppose laughing 

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Post by quinsforever Wed 20 Nov 2013, 10:43 am

George Carlin wrote:How are these ratings compiled?
 
I was fascinated to see that Glasgow are apparently 7th, ahead of Toulouse, Tigers, Castres, Racing Metro and Munster. And apparently we c*cked something up in the autumn that meant we lost a previous position of 5th! Obviously, I would say that these people have wisdom beyond their years but practically speaking, can you really read much into this?
i think the ratings are actually pretty good. their methodology is on their website.

basically it's last 30 games (in all competitions, apart from friendlies), weighted by the strength of the nationality of the opposition, with most recent games weighted a bit more heavily.

did glasgow get a result or two against an irish team in the rabo this season or at the end of last?

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Post by geoff998rugby Wed 20 Nov 2013, 10:47 am

Yep they won at Ravenhill this year.

Glasgow are the most consistant team in the league - probably lose less against teams in the bottom half of the league than the 3 top Irish provinces.

The let in less tries than any other team and are a tough nut to crack.
You need to stretch them and then superior skill can show but you get it wrong, as we did, and they will pounce.


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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed 20 Nov 2013, 10:57 am

George Carlin wrote:How are these ratings compiled?
 
I was fascinated to see that Glasgow are apparently 7th, ahead of Toulouse, Tigers, Castres, Racing Metro and Munster. And apparently we c*cked something up in the autumn that meant we lost a previous position of 5th! Obviously, I would say that these people have wisdom beyond their years but practically speaking, can you really read much into this?
According to the website

EuroRatings wrote:The Eurotable, a computer-generated ranking of Europe's top rugby clubs, is based on each club's performance over its past 30 games (domestic and European). It was first launched in April 2000 and indeed is a prototype of a pan-European football ranking system that was published in the Wall Street Journal Europe between 1995-2000 (known as the Eurofootsie).

Updated every Monday evening, the Eurotable aims to provide an invaluable form guide for those wishing to compare the best teams in Europe. Eurotable covers Europe's top clubs/provinces (1) playing in France, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy.

Each week, the results of all domestic league and cup games (2) as well as European ties are fed into the computer. As with any league, points are awarded to teams for winning or drawing a match. The Eurotable, however, takes account of many other factors:
A.Points scored and points conceded (the points system encourages attacking rugby but it also rewards sides who lose a match by a narrow margin.).

B.Whether the game was played at home or away (bonus awarded to the away team).

C.
Strength of the opponent (more points are awarded when playing against a top-ranked opponent as opposed to a weaker one).


D.Strength of the domestic league (Account is taken of the differences in playing standards of the various domestic leagues by applying coefficients for each country. These are based on the performance of each country's clubs in the Heineken Cup (and to a much lesser extent, the European Challenge Cup) over the previous three seasons. The approach is similar to that used by UEFA to calculate their football rankings for each country.  

E.Importance of the game (more points are awarded for European Cup games and at the latter stages of all cup competitions).

F.Recent form feature (a unique weighting of the results ensures that a team's more recent performances are given more credit than those of earlier games. As a result, the rankings will usually reflect current form rather than a team's standing over its last thirty games.


The number of points credited to each team over their last 30 games (3) is summed up and teams are then ranked from top to bottom. Each team's rating is expressed as a percentage of the top-ranked team.

(1) The Eurotable covers all teams competing in the English Aviva Premiership, the French Top 14 and the RaboDirect Pro 12. At the beginning of the season, teams that are newly-promoted into the 'premier' leagues have to prove themselves before they are included in the Eurotable. A team has to play 10 games before it is given a provisional Ranking.

(2) Included are all games in the English Aviva Premiership, the French Top 14, the RaboDirect Pro 12 and the LV= Cup as well as the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup. Friendlies and games against touring sides are also excluded.

( 3)  On certain occasions, a team's total ranking points may fall despite winning a match. In such cases, the match is ignored for the particular team and the previous 30 games are used to calculate the ranking. Such games are denoted by a '*'. When does this arise ?

- One example is where a team has already won its national league or is guaranteed to qualify from its Heineken Cup or European Challenge Cup pool in first place, then any subsequent results (in that particular competition) that would result in a fall in their total ranking points are ignored.
- Another example is when a team wins a cup match against one of the weaker Italian, Spanish or Romanian sides in the Challenge Cup (fewer points are at stake for such cup matches) or when a team's recent record is so good that, say, a low-scoring home win against a low-ranked team will not increase their total ranking points.
To be honest it is flawed, not as flawed as the HEC ratings though
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Post by quinsforever Wed 20 Nov 2013, 11:51 am

i had an email exchange with the guy who runs the ratings. i was asking him how the weightings work. within the rabo he uses different coefficients for each of the nationalities based on 3 or 5 year HC performance of that nations clubs. So within the Rabo, wins against irish teams carry a lot of weight.

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Post by Bluedragon Wed 20 Nov 2013, 8:28 pm

geoff998rugby wrote:
Bluedragon wrote:  I would love to see the season restructured to play in 3 conferences - British A, British B, and France / Italy
So you don't want the Irish involved Crying or Very sad 

Mind you means someone else would have a chance of winning I suppose laughing 
Whoops. Apologies to my Irish cousins. Meant of course British Isles !

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Post by George Carlin Thu 21 Nov 2013, 7:56 am

geoff998rugby wrote:Yep they won at Ravenhill this year.

Glasgow are the most consistant team in the league - probably lose less against teams in the bottom half of the league than the 3 top Irish provinces.

The let in less tries than any other team and are a tough nut to crack.
You need to stretch them and then superior skill can show but you get it wrong, as we did, and they will pounce.

Hug 
Certainly true about the defensive side. Before the bizarre leaking of 2 against Zebre when we were 24-3 up and presumably started checking out the hot Italian girls in the audience, we hadn't conceded a try in about 4 hours of play.
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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 21 Nov 2013, 9:38 am

quinsforever wrote:i had an email exchange with the guy who runs the ratings. i was asking him how the weightings work. within the rabo he uses different coefficients for each of the nationalities based on 3 or 5 year HC performance of that nations clubs. So within the Rabo, wins against irish teams carry a lot of weight.
A close work college is a friend of his.
He originates from Northern Ireland and I think he still lives here - not sure though.
Comes across as an earnest decent bloke who just does it for fun - doesn't make anything out of it

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Post by Kingshu Thu 21 Nov 2013, 11:29 am

The ranking in general do come the closest to what we could all agree on, as being fairly reflective of each team, of course we not agree with them all, but I think we would all agree that these are the closest that we can agree on.

By the end of the year I suspect 2 of the regions to be back in the top 20, but for Wales there really should be one in the top 10.

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