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Post by No9 Mon 01 Mar 2021, 1:49 pm

Just caught on the BBC Wales lunchtime news, that Cardiff Blues will rebrand from next season to be Cardiff Rugby.

Well, there's the region experiment coming to an end..

Wont be long before Dragons become Newport again. Scarlets and Ospreys likely to keep their brands as is.

Guess, those regions who didn't refer to their legacy clubs like Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues now have a stronger identity than those who clung to the past.

Was always going to happen, I guess I'm just surprised it took so long.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 01 Mar 2021, 1:57 pm

The whole regional set-up is a joke.

Most of the country is not represented. Doomed to failure from the start.

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Post by Brendan Wed 03 Mar 2021, 11:44 am

Seems like the two teams that have the biggest perceived issues are the two least constantly successful.
According to my dad who lived in and around Llanelli for about 7 years (brother played underage for them at like u10s in the 70s) because of the lack of bigger villages West of them they were always seen as the Regional team of West Wales before regional rugby happen.

Ospreys are only seen as a Region because they were successful.  If they had won nothing then there would have been civil war between Swansea v Neath & Bridgend.

Ireland is no different success has either covered up or the issues have been forgotten.

Leinster
Nearly everyone in Leinster outside of born and bred Dubliners supported Munster as they were the people's champions.  Leinster didn't just win the semi final in 2009 against Munster they won the majority of rugby fans in the province.  Since then the talk of D4 Leinster has died down.

Munster make Ponty and Cardiff look like a civilized relationship.  Munster had effectively two training squads based in Cork and Limerick and many ex players talk about the fights and bad blooded training games between the two teams forced to play together.  It was only when Munster got bad that they could finally have one base.  They have two home venues because Cork probably provides 50% of the money and they would reduce funding and support.  If there was a Cork rugby team it would get what Munster currently gets in Cork which is about 8k. In Cork in was seen as a city sport but with the growth in West Cork talent that has reduced (mainly down to West Cork). We won't mention Waterford because Munster don't either. Drop in Munster attendances are mainly down to less Cork people travelling to Limerick.

Ulster
Seen as a Belfast team where if you don't live there forget about home games on Friday night's.  Plenty other issues because of the history of the Province and southerners afraid to cross the border into a forgien land.  Since Ulster improved plenty players happy to go North and find most issues where in their heads.  Ulster I think have used it also as a rallying cry by being the other Province.

Connacht.
Is it the winding up around the time of the boarders and warriors two other rural teams full of common people that the Union maybe didn't want to run for the "good" of the Union. Had/has massive chucks of the Province that would struggle to name it's players.  They are now succesfull so on jump the fans. Lam was massive off the pitch as he forced the branch to actually stand up for themselves.

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Post by Brendan Wed 03 Mar 2021, 11:58 am

I also think that Ponty has alot to answer in the perceived failure of the Regions.

They have made no effort to try and work with Cardiff Blues for a long enough time (Other than take players from the Region to win the league)

I don't understand why people are surprised that more people are going to focus on the biggest and closest population centres.

I wonder how many Ponty supporters like Cardiff City FC and don't support Ponty town who play in the Welsh second level.

Fans will travel for success, but not for failure.

Some (not most) seem to believe that moral victories are actual victories.  The team losses but they would have won except for reason A-Z.  For the resources the Blues have they seem to be the worse for it.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 03 Mar 2021, 4:34 pm

Personal attacks removed.

Debate the post and do not attack the poster.

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Post by MonkeyMan Wed 03 Mar 2021, 4:50 pm

To be honest I am not even gonna go down this route anymore. Back in circa 2015 every other post was Ponty hating (not bad for an "irrelevant club") and I do not give a flying anymore if the usual crowd want to hate they can. I really don't care. The current system is what it is and I accept that

As for "Cardiff Rugby"...my nephew was dismissed from the academy for getting an engineering apprenticeship. My friend's son was told by the academy that they didn't want him for the time being but he was still on the books. Rather than sit about he played some games for Taffs Well RFC Youth (his home village club and where he started). They found out and dismissed him also. Ruthless from the top to the bottom down there

Enjoy your Welsh rugby folks. I can't attend live rugby at the moment anyway due to Covid and my own health problems. I am happy enough watching the Gallagher Premiership on TV. Thank you and goodnight OK

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Post by Oakdene Thu 04 Mar 2021, 8:31 am

So Peel is rumoured to be looking to get out of his contract he signed with the Cardiff Blues & move to the Scarlets to become their head coach with Delaney heading up to a DoR role.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 9:06 am

The reason posts were removed on this thread, was because three people made personal attacks against Brendan. Not one of those people chose to debate any of the points raised by him.

Whilst the post may seem a little out of the blue, it is an opinion. Tell the poster in a calm manner, why you think he is wrong. Ultimately Pontypridd will still be within Cardiff Rugby's "Development Pathway", so there is some relevance to it and I see no reason why discussing a team within this Pathway isn't relevant to this line "Most of the country is not represented".

Nobody has an "axe to grind" or "hates teams".

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 9:15 am

Hi Risca, I do not want to get on the wrong side of a moderator, but you, and some of your fellow Dragons fans have historically had a jab at Pontypridd and their fans, so please lets be honest about things.

Anyway, now thats out of the way.

The reason why Warriors disbanded was all down to Leyton Samuel, and it was because Pontypridd RFC would not sell Sardis Rd to him. He never had any interest in Pontypridd, and was upset that the WRU were forcing his hand, he wanted Bridgend to merge with Neath. His fight with the WRU was the death of the region. The same WRU who then pulled the region, but then went on to financially give other regions a leg up.

Start from there and work it out for yourself.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 9:38 am

Recycling/discussing arguments from years ago achieves little. From memory, that was things like suggestions that semi pro Welsh Premiership teams could be promoted and replace the worst Welsh pro team (generally Dragons). There were also heated discussions when people did not agree with how parts of Wales were not represented.

Dragons supporters were often subjected to a lot of stick on here and naturally people will be defensive over their teams. Plus, none of it has any relevance to Brendan, who is not a Welsh rugby supporter in any form, to my knowledge.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 10:07 am

RiscaGame wrote:Recycling/discussing arguments from years ago achieves little. From memory, that was things like suggestions that semi pro Welsh Premiership teams could be promoted and replace the worst Welsh pro team (generally Dragons). There were also heated discussions when people did not agree with how parts of Wales were not represented.

Dragons supporters were often subjected to a lot of stick on here and naturally people will be defensive over their teams. Plus, none of it has any relevance to Brendan, who is not a Welsh rugby supporter in any form, to my knowledge.

But you are OK with what He has said ? If yes then fine.

But I was a Pontypridd supporter who was also a Warriors season ticket holder from the outset, who also went to the Brewery Field to watch my region. So yes I do take offence in what he is claiming, so I will get annoyed.

But if you as a moderator are happy to not intervene with what he has said to provoke other members, as I said, fine. I will leave this go. OK

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 10:46 am

I have removed the Warriors bit, although I don't believe that Brendan tried to provoke members.

Other than you (who is more of a Merthyr fan anyway now), there were no other visible Pontypridd supporters on this forum at the time of the post. People would only know you are/were, by looking at your profile.

Now this thread can move on, or it will be deleted.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 11:44 am

Brendan wrote:They have made no effort to try and work with Cardiff Blues for a long enough time (Other than take players from the Region to win the league)

Please look at the Cardiff Blues academy, and see where their players come from. There are not many coming from clubs in Cardiff. they are coming from the clubs in the valleys and in particular, Pontypridd, Merthyr and a lot from places like Church Village and Beddua. Yes you've got it all the valleys.

Brendan wrote:I don't understand why people are surprised that more people are going to focus on the biggest and closest population centres.

There are a million people living in the valleys, yet no representation. 350K in Cardiff, 100K in Newport, 250k Swansea, 25k LLanelli. Approx figures.






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Post by Brendan Thu 04 Mar 2021, 1:11 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:They have made no effort to try and work with Cardiff Blues for a long enough time (Other than take players from the Region to win the league)

Please look at the Cardiff Blues academy, and see where their players come from. There are not many coming from clubs in Cardiff. they are coming from the clubs in the valleys and in particular, Pontypridd, Merthyr and a lot from places like Church Village and Beddua. Yes you've got it all the valleys.

Brendan wrote:I don't understand why people are surprised that more people are going to focus on the biggest and closest population centres.

There are a million people living in the valleys, yet no representation. 350K in Cardiff, 100K in Newport, 250k Swansea, 25k LLanelli. Approx figures.






Are those figures city limits or are they urban areas. Quick look at a number of sites has the following.
Cardiff 470k
Newport 320k
Swansea 310k
Llanelli 51k

So Gwent has 600k of which more then half are in Newport. Don't know the populations of the other Regions.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 1:50 pm

Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:They have made no effort to try and work with Cardiff Blues for a long enough time (Other than take players from the Region to win the league)

Please look at the Cardiff Blues academy, and see where their players come from. There are not many coming from clubs in Cardiff. they are coming from the clubs in the valleys and in particular, Pontypridd, Merthyr and a lot from places like Church Village and Beddua. Yes you've got it all the valleys.

Brendan wrote:I don't understand why people are surprised that more people are going to focus on the biggest and closest population centres.

There are a million people living in the valleys, yet no representation. 350K in Cardiff, 100K in Newport, 250k Swansea, 25k LLanelli. Approx figures.






Are those figures city limits or are they urban areas. Quick look at a number of sites has the following.
Cardiff 470k
Newport 320k
Swansea 310k
Llanelli 51k

So Gwent has 600k of which more then half are in Newport.  Don't know the populations of the other Regions.

Still the valleys have more than double those populations. Also, part of Gwent are in the valleys.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 2:04 pm

Yes parts of Gwent are, including Risca. I consider myself represented by Dragons.

Some of those Valleys would be represented by Ospreylia. It is not fair to say 1 million people are not represented by a Pro Team. Especially when there has been great concern over misrepresentation on this thread.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 2:08 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Yes parts of Gwent are, including Risca. I consider myself represented by Dragons.

Some of those Valleys would be represented by Ospreylia. It is not fair to say 1 million people are not represented by a Pro Team. Especially when there has been great concern over misrepresentation on this thread.

Well Cardiff do not want anything to do with anybody except Cardiff. Should we all bow down ?

You support Dragons, because you are an ex Newport RFC supporter, am I correct ? Please be honest.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 2:14 pm

No you are not correct. I supported Ospreys initially, as I did not like the Newport orientation. I was watching Ebbw Vale more, at the time the game went regional. I only started supporting Dragons around 2009, when I moved back from Scotland and noticed it was more "Men of Gwent" orientated.

I am always honest.

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Post by Brendan Fri 05 Mar 2021, 1:26 pm

It is not Cardiff's fault that half of the Warriors was landed on them. In Professional rugby the players come from all over and probably get more from the academy then they would their home club (If run properly).

Once Warriors moved home games to Brewery Field alot of fans from the other major area started saying that they wouldn't go to home games until they returned to Sardis Road.

Once Ponty RFC sold their share because of their financial difficulties they lost the ability to have a say (as per most private ventures). They never had a say in Blues rugby much like the other clubs because they aren't part of the private owners.

By the same logic that the valleys don't have regional rugby then large parts of Ireland don't, such as Waterford City because no team plays there.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 8:17 am

Brendan wrote:It is not Cardiff's fault that half of the Warriors was landed on them.  In Professional rugby the players come from all over and probably get more from the academy then they would their home club (If run properly).

Once Warriors moved home games to Brewery Field alot of fans from the other major area started saying that they wouldn't go to home games until they returned to Sardis Road.

Once Ponty RFC sold their share because of their financial difficulties they lost the ability to have a say (as per most private ventures).  They never had a say in Blues rugby much like the other clubs because they aren't part of the private owners.

By the same logic that the valleys don't have regional rugby then large parts of Ireland don't, such as Waterford City because no team plays there.

out of a squad of 30 players, 21 of them are from Merthyr and Pontypridd. Two of the prominent teams in the valleys. Simply put, Cardiff want to reap the valleys of their talent, but do not want to associate with them. To be fair, Cardiff have never wanted anything to do with us and have made it abundantly clear from the start.

You cannot ask fans to all of a sudden start supporting a team, that does not represent them in any way or form. Especially when they are already supporting a team that does.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 9:39 am

I've always maintained that we just have to let people support who they want to support and stop wasting our breath on this. As LD says you can't and shouldn't try to manufacture a support base by drawing a line on a map and saying 'they are your team because you live within x'. However, at the same time LD you cannot then expect a team to 'represent' a certain group of people. Manchester United don't represent Manchester. Yes, that's where they play (well, Greater Manchester) and they might have a greater proportion of fans from there than, say, Brighton. But they represent anyone who wants to identify with them including those in the Far East if they want to support them. All of this 'you live here so your team is the Blues' stuff is just nonsense. It's also nonsense, in my opinion, to hear that 'millions of people in Wales are not represented'. It is not the role of a team to represent people. A team plays a sport, they provide entertainment (or at least try Smile ), fans either like what they see or do not, some fans from wherever will identify with the team for whatever reason (local team, social, family, favourite player, glory supporter.... whatever) and support grows from there. It is an unrealistic goal to try to get all of the pro teams in Wales to 'represent' 100% of the population between them. That was not the goal of regional rugby. The goal was to represent 100% of the areas of Wales and the development pathways, clubs, schools and schools cup structures, etc. so that each of those had a pro entity to work with and were not left out. If people do not want to support a team then they do not have to and should not have to, and by extension the team should not be blamed for not the representing those people.

I often liken this to the situation in Soccer. You've got Man Utd in the premier league. Big following, based in Greater Manchester. However, you wouldn't say to Oldham fans that they have to ditch their team and follow Man Utd instead just because they are the bigger pro side in the area. Similarly, if someone wants to support semi-pro Pontypridd or non-pro Abertillery then good on them. Let them. But don't blame the pro sides for not embracing them. And don't blame the fan for choosing to spend his/her money where they want to. Fans are fans and can support their team whatever league they're in. To grow support though we need to be picking up the casual fan, the new fans, the kids...... and we can do that from wherever in Wales we want to. It's easier on your doorstep as they're more likely to be able to attend home games the closer they are but if they come from North Wales, or Bristol, or Llanelli then great.
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 10:34 am

The Oracle wrote:It's also nonsense, in my opinion, to hear that 'millions of people in Wales are not represented'.

It's easy for you to say that when you have not really had to change, or to be told how to change.

You see, the facts are, that there is still only 4 pro clubs. Llanelli, Swansea, Cardiff and Newport. Thats fine, but lets just call it like that. I have never supported any of those clubs, well not like I have supported Pontypridd and Merthyr.

I did at one time spend a lot of time supporting all the regions, yes even Dragons, I used to like to cherry pick my games. But as time went on, the Pro14 just seemed more and more empty, and the fans clearly did not want anything to do with any other clubs, and that was across the 4 regions, less so at others than some.

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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Mar 2021, 11:49 am

To only have 30 players in a squad seems very small.  Do they work off WC squad.  9 front rowers means you wouldn't have 2 people per every other position.  If you have only counted Region produced players, how many players from the valleys in the Blues Regions have come through other Regions teams. From comments it seems the Dragons provide to most players to other squads (could be wrong).  I can't see the Ospreys and Dargons not tapping into players good enough but not getting picked by the Blues and if they thought the valleys were unwanted and a goldmine they would have changed the boundaries long ago.

So there are 21 players who are playing for the Blues from teams in the valleys.  Did they not come through the Blues academy or were they picked up by the Blues as fully developed players.  Did they not play underage for the Region too or for the A team.  If 21 out of 30 people in he squad it would imply that the Blues are doing plenty in the valleys for player development and helping smaller clubs have better support.  It's not like players have to go to other Regions to get professional contracts.

In Munster you either play for an elite school or elite club close to home. If good enough the player leaves their local to go to the bigger club. If this happens in Wales how many of the 21 were originally from those two clubs and how many were sent their by the academy. The Blues underage screen can't be great if only two clubs make up 70% (I assume Cardiff RFC must make up a large chunk of the remaining 9 players) of players and the rest of the valleys must be poor at rugby. Is the schools not the biggest influencer of teens rugby feeding into the accedemies or is that why so many teens choose to go to England for development.

Considering I am one of the few people who call them the Blues rather then Cadiff then the name change implies that they are formalizing what people are already doing and as such any name change is window dressing rather then change.

Munster must play in Cork because plenty of Cork people travel to Limerick while also showing dissatisfaction with not enough games in Cork.  This has resulted in Munster having to address that.  It doesn't happen with Waterford City because fan size is to small to justify a game.  What percent of Blues attendance would justify the Blues to effectively play a game at a more neutral venue that the players might not be use to.  Would it be viable.  Munster getting 8k in Cork in a stadium they own with modern facilities would be alot different to renting a ground that might be seen as poor standards

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 11:58 am

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:It's also nonsense, in my opinion, to hear that 'millions of people in Wales are not represented'.

It's easy for you to say that when you have not really had to change, or to be told how to change.

You see, the facts are, that there is still only 4 pro clubs. Llanelli, Swansea, Cardiff and Newport. Thats fine, but lets just call it like that. I have never supported any of those clubs, well not like I have supported Pontypridd and Merthyr.

I did at one time spend a lot of time supporting all the regions, yes even Dragons, I used to like to cherry pick my games. But as time went on, the Pro14 just seemed more and more empty, and the fans clearly did not want anything to do with any other clubs, and that was across the 4 regions, less so at others than some.


If you read my post again I'm agreeing with you. The clubs/pro teams do not have to represent anyone. If you're a Ponty or Merthyr fan then you are 'represented' by them.
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 11:59 am

You keep comparing this to the Irish system, you cannot.

Munster
Leinster
Connacht
Ulster

they are all areas. They represent everything in that area. Cardiff represent Cardiff, and that is that.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:09 pm

LordDowlais wrote:You keep comparing this to the Irish system, you cannot.

Munster
Leinster
Connacht
Ulster

they are all areas. They represent everything in that area. Cardiff represent Cardiff, and that is that.


Exactly this LD.  I completely agree.  We haven't got this province divide so we should stop pretending to emulate it.  And therefore, we should stop saying that all of the areas of Wales and all fans within it should be represented and attached to a team.  Support Ponty and Merthyr if that's what you want to do.  You should be applauded for supporting rugby.  But don't blame the Blues or whoever because you don't feel 'represented' because you don't have to be represented!

My only caveat to your point above is to say that the Blues do represent more than just Cardiff from a point of view of development pathways, schools, etc.  Same as the Dragons look after the development pathway loosely based around the whole of the former Gwent area and not just Newport County Borough.
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:20 pm

The Oracle wrote:But don't blame the Blues or whoever because you don't feel 'represented' because you don't have to be represented!

Excuse me. But where have I ever insinuated this ? I have never accused anyone of anything in this regard, in fact, I am on record, on this very debate saying that Cardiff have never wanted anything to do with anything outside Cardiff, and that is their right.

It's very easy to get on your high horse and tell people how it is, when nothing has ever changed for you.

The Oracle wrote:My only caveat to your point above is to say that the Blues do represent more than just Cardiff from a point of view of development pathways, schools, etc. Same as the Dragons look after the development pathway loosely based around the whole of the former Gwent area and not just Newport County Borough.

I will turn this around, and without the players that the valleys are supplying, Cardiff would be up the creek without a paddle. The valleys is a rugby hotbed, that is why they are up here, rugby is not big enough in Cardiff to supply the pro team with players.

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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:35 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:It's also nonsense, in my opinion, to hear that 'millions of people in Wales are not represented'.

It's easy for you to say that when you have not really had to change, or to be told how to change.

You see, the facts are, that there is still only 4 pro clubs. Llanelli, Swansea, Cardiff and Newport. Thats fine, but lets just call it like that. I have never supported any of those clubs, well not like I have supported Pontypridd and Merthyr.

I did at one time spend a lot of time supporting all the regions, yes even Dragons, I used to like to cherry pick my games. But as time went on, the Pro14 just seemed more and more empty, and the fans clearly did not want anything to do with any other clubs, and that was across the 4 regions, less so at others than some.

If it is hard to support the Regions because they are basically 4 super clubs how are you able to support the two big rivals in the league. Surely the rebranding does what you wants to happen not go against what you want if you want them to be seen as super clubs.

If your issue is to do with the Pro14 then the rebranding makes no difference as still in the same league and it is yet another pointless debate. Thankfully there are more people who watch Pro14 as the pinicle of non-international rugby in Wales then watch the local Premership which says that more people have issues with it rather then the Pro14.

South Africa had a choice to either go it alone or join the league. Their response and also Argentina's says the league is just fine. In fact the efforts made by community organisers in the valleys to try to force the WRU to put a Pro14 team in the valleys in the last few years says they see the league as great otherwise why all the efforts.

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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:39 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I will turn this around, and without the players that the valleys are supplying, Cardiff would be up the creek without a paddle. The valleys is a rugby hotbed, that is why they are up here, rugby is not big enough in Cardiff to supply the pro team with players.

Can you provide numbers to day that the Blues couldn't supply a squad by picking up other Regions players. Dragons as far as I know produce the most.

How many of the valley players could become professional standard if the Blues were providing all of their support to schools and clubs

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:44 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:But don't blame the Blues or whoever because you don't feel 'represented' because you don't have to be represented!

Excuse me. But where have I ever insinuated this ? I have never accused anyone of anything in this regard, in fact, I am on record, on this very debate saying that Cardiff have never wanted anything to do with anything outside Cardiff, and that is their right.

It's very easy to get on your high horse and tell people how it is, when nothing has ever changed for you.

The Oracle wrote:My only caveat to your point above is to say that the Blues do represent more than just Cardiff from a point of view of development pathways, schools, etc. Same as the Dragons look after the development pathway loosely based around the whole of the former Gwent area and not just Newport County Borough.

I will turn this around, and without the players that the valleys are supplying, Cardiff would be up the creek without a paddle. The valleys is a rugby hotbed, that is why they are up here, rugby is not big enough in Cardiff to supply the pro team with players.

I'm not on a high horse, LD! Stop doing that.

You're not getting my point. Yes, I would be sad if the Dragons went bust and we went to 3 teams. I wouldn't become a die hard Blues fan suddenly. I would just follow the 3 remaining regions in the same way as I do now - with interest but without passion. But my point is that the 3 remaining sides do then not automatically represent all the fans in Wales between them. The players and clubs and coaches in terms of development pathways, yes. But not necessarily fans. If the Dragons went I should not be up in arms if/when the Blues do not somehow try to embrace the whole of Gwent. There is no remit for the pro teams to be targeting certain people in certain areas above and beyond normal marketing activities. If they took on the Gwent area then it would be for the schools, clubs, coaching and pathways in that area, that's all.

On your last point - again I think you are misunderstanding it. The WRU sets the 'regional' limits. They tell the Blues that the clubs and schools within a certain geographical area are there's to work with. Kids who are good at rugby in that geographical area then have a development pathway within that made up regional area and, if they're deemed good enough, they will be picked up by the Blues academy through their scouting and trial systems, school competitions, etc. The fact that so many valleys players are in the Blues squad means the system is working! One small point though - I'd be interested to know who you're including in the Blues squad as 'Valleys' as Ospreys and Dragons also have a remit for valleys areas too and it's possible that some of the Blues valleys players are actually from other region's valley areas.
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:45 pm

Brendan wrote:If it is hard to support the Regions because they are basically 4 super clubs how are you able to support the two big rivals in the league. Surely the rebranding does what you wants to happen not go against what you want if you want them to be seen as super clubs.

Its only recently that this has been the case. When the Welsh prem were fully pro, I used to support both Pontypridd, I would go there to watch the pro teams, but I always had Merthyr at heart.

Brendan wrote:Can you provide numbers to day that the Blues couldn't supply a squad by picking up other Regions players. Dragons as far as I know produce the most.

How many of the valley players could become professional standard if the Blues were providing all of their support to schools and clubs

Can you ? You seem to be the one telling me how it is.

Anyway, I'm done debating this with you, as you cannot grasp what goes on in Wales with rugby. It's totally different to Ireland.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:51 pm

The Oracle wrote:On your last point - again I think you are misunderstanding it. The WRU sets the 'regional' limits. They tell the Blues that the clubs and schools within a certain geographical area are there's to work with. Kids who are good at rugby in that geographical area then have a development pathway within that made up regional area and, if they're deemed good enough, they will be picked up by the Blues academy through their scouting and trial systems, school competitions, etc. The fact that so many valleys players are in the Blues squad means the system is working! One small point though - I'd be interested to know who you're including in the Blues squad as 'Valleys' as Ospreys and Dragons also have a remit for valleys areas too and it's possible that some of the Blues valleys players are actually from other region's valley areas.

I know, but there seems to be more players from outside Cardiff playing for Cardiff. How do you reckon Cardiff would fair, if they were not allowed to used the valley players as their pathway ?

on your last point, I know for a fact, that a lot of players from Merthyr and Ponty are at Cardiff, in fact I was talking to Dale Mackintosh in our club a little bit before the first lockdown, as Merthyr were using it whilst the rugby club was being built, and he was telling me that without clubs like Merthyr, Cardiff Blues would struggle.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:54 pm

Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I will turn this around, and without the players that the valleys are supplying, Cardiff would be up the creek without a paddle. The valleys is a rugby hotbed, that is why they are up here, rugby is not big enough in Cardiff to supply the pro team with players.

Can you provide numbers to day that the Blues couldn't supply a squad by picking up other Regions players.  Dragons as far as I know produce the most.

How many of the valley players could become professional standard if the Blues were providing all of their support to schools and clubs


I wouldn't say we (Dragons) produce the most, Brendan. I have no idea on the numbers though. What has happened is that historically we've struggled to hold on to the good ones as they are enticed away to other regions for better chances of silverware, international honours, etc. And I don't blame them. We've then tended to mop up the weaker players that didn't break through in other regions in order to fill the squad and therefore our squad has been quite weak. But more recently we've been able to hold on to more (a bit more funding) and some have shown that they can get picked for Wales consistently while playing for the Dragons which gives others more incentive to join. Lots of people criticised the Moriarty signing at £500k as it was 1/5th of our budget (I was critical too!) but it was a bit of a catalyst for others joining and we now have quite a few good signings and internationals and, more importantly, lots signing contract extensions. So things look on the up. A few years back we could only dream of putting out a team with 10 current internationals but that's what we've got at the moment when all fit and available. Brown, Dee, Rowlands, Moriarty, Wainwright, Griffiths, Roberts, Tompkins, Holmes, Hewitt, etc., etc. Only Roberts there is not currently in and around the Wales squad, but he's not retired and there have been calls to bring him back.
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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 12:58 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:On your last point - again I think you are misunderstanding it. The WRU sets the 'regional' limits. They tell the Blues that the clubs and schools within a certain geographical area are there's to work with. Kids who are good at rugby in that geographical area then have a development pathway within that made up regional area and, if they're deemed good enough, they will be picked up by the Blues academy through their scouting and trial systems, school competitions, etc. The fact that so many valleys players are in the Blues squad means the system is working! One small point though - I'd be interested to know who you're including in the Blues squad as 'Valleys' as Ospreys and Dragons also have a remit for valleys areas too and it's possible that some of the Blues valleys players are actually from other region's valley areas.

I know, but there seems to be more players from outside Cardiff playing for Cardiff. How do you reckon Cardiff would fair, if they were not allowed to used the valley players as their pathway ?

on your last point, I know for a fact, that a lot of players from Merthyr and Ponty are at Cardiff, in fact I was talking to Dale Mackintosh in our club a little bit before the first lockdown, as Merthyr were using it whilst the rugby club was being built, and he was telling me that without clubs like Merthyr, Cardiff Blues would struggle.

Again, you're just proving that the system is working as intended. Why would the Blues ever not be allowed to use the valleys players?! They're a pro team. They can offer contracts to whoever they like! Including Dragons, Ospreys, Scarlets players, English players, Japanese players, etc. If they like the look of a player then they can offer him a contract. That's how pro sport works! It's exactly the same as Rhys Gill signing for Saracens or Rowlands signing for the Dragons. No-one can stop them. Why would they?!
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:01 pm

If anyone wants to doubt me, then it's all here, and this is just the senior squad, look at how many are from Pontypridd/Rhonnda/ Merthyr/Church Village all from clubs within about 10 miles of each other or less in the valleys.

https://cardiffblues.com/senior-squad


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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:08 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:On your last point - again I think you are misunderstanding it. The WRU sets the 'regional' limits. They tell the Blues that the clubs and schools within a certain geographical area are there's to work with. Kids who are good at rugby in that geographical area then have a development pathway within that made up regional area and, if they're deemed good enough, they will be picked up by the Blues academy through their scouting and trial systems, school competitions, etc. The fact that so many valleys players are in the Blues squad means the system is working! One small point though - I'd be interested to know who you're including in the Blues squad as 'Valleys' as Ospreys and Dragons also have a remit for valleys areas too and it's possible that some of the Blues valleys players are actually from other region's valley areas.

I know, but there seems to be more players from outside Cardiff playing for Cardiff. How do you reckon Cardiff would fair, if they were not allowed to used the valley players as their pathway ?

on your last point, I know for a fact, that a lot of players from Merthyr and Ponty are at Cardiff, in fact I was talking to Dale Mackintosh in our club a little bit before the first lockdown, as Merthyr were using it whilst the rugby club was being built, and he was telling me that without clubs like Merthyr, Cardiff Blues would struggle.

Again, you're just proving that the system is working as intended.  Why would the Blues ever not be allowed to use the valleys players?!  They're a pro team.  They can offer contracts to whoever they like!  Including Dragons, Ospreys, Scarlets players, English players, Japanese players, etc.  If they like the look of a player then they can offer him a contract.  That's how pro sport works!  It's exactly the same as Rhys Gill signing for Saracens or Rowlands signing for the Dragons.  No-one can stop them.  Why would they?!

Yes, I know. But people should stop making us feel that we should be "thankfull"

There is nowhere else for them to go. Imagine all these players playing for a region, from where they were produced. People from the same area could then support them. But unfortunately that will never happen. So now, if we want to see our local boys, we need to support a team that has not only has no affiliation with us, but does not want us either.

What I am saying is, Cardiff have now come out and said we are Cardiff, and that is it, nothing else, just Cardiff, but we will still use the pathway system as we still need your people to play for us.

Ah. OK. Thanks, but no thanks.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:13 pm

So what’s you point, LD? If the Blues didn’t exist then those players would either play for the Dragons or Ospreys or Blues or English teams or something. So what?
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:16 pm

The Oracle wrote:So what’s you point, LD? If the Blues didn’t exist then those players would either play for the Dragons or Ospreys or Blues or English teams or something. So what?

Firstly, the Blues do not exist anymore. They are Cardiff rugby.

Secondly, my point is, obviously Cardiff rugby need the valleys, so why don't they recognise it and at least try and be more inclusive ?

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:17 pm

LD, where would a valleys team get the rest of its players from? Cos you wouldn’t be able to fulfil matches with those valleys players playing at the Blues. So you’d recruit from other areas yes? And then those areas would be ‘denied seeing their local talent’?
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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:19 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:So what’s you point, LD? If the Blues didn’t exist then those players would either play for the Dragons or Ospreys or Blues or English teams or something. So what?

Firstly, the Blues do not exist anymore. They are Cardiff rugby.

Secondly, my point is, obviously Cardiff rugby need the valleys, so why don't they recognise it and at least try and be more inclusive ?

What do you mean by inclusive? Should Man Utd play home games on the road in Brighton if they sign someone from there? What if it damages their income streams and damages their ability to hold on to players?
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:21 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:So what’s you point, LD? If the Blues didn’t exist then those players would either play for the Dragons or Ospreys or Blues or English teams or something. So what?

Firstly, the Blues do not exist anymore. They are Cardiff rugby.

Secondly, my point is, obviously Cardiff rugby need the valleys, so why don't they recognise it and at least try and be more inclusive ?

What do you mean by inclusive? Should Man Utd play home games on the road in Brighton if they sign someone from there? What if it damages their income streams and damages their ability to hold on to players?

Why are you comparing this to Man Utd all the time ? They are a totally different beast.

But yes, they could do a lot more, because Cardiff as a stand alone entity will not work. They need the valleys so be more inclusive.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:23 pm

Cardiff Blues do exist, until 1 August.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:25 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:So what’s you point, LD? If the Blues didn’t exist then those players would either play for the Dragons or Ospreys or Blues or English teams or something. So what?

Firstly, the Blues do not exist anymore. They are Cardiff rugby.

Secondly, my point is, obviously Cardiff rugby need the valleys, so why don't they recognise it and at least try and be more inclusive ?

What do you mean by inclusive? Should Man Utd play home games on the road in Brighton if they sign someone from there? What if it damages their income streams and damages their ability to hold on to players?

Why are you comparing this to Man Utd all the time ? They are a totally different beast.

But yes, they could do a lot more, because Cardiff as a stand alone entity will not work. They need the valleys so be more inclusive.

But what do you actually mean by inclusive? They're already working in the valleys with the schools, coaching and clubs as part of the development pathways. I know this as fact as I've seen it in action with my own eyes. They're providing very well paid careers for valleys players so in that regard they're be very inclusive in the valleys. So what do you mean? Do you mean from a fan point of view? Do you want games taken on the road to valleys clubs? Do you want them to re-brand to include the valleys somehow so the fans been more included?
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 08 Mar 2021, 1:28 pm

The Oracle wrote:But what do you actually mean by inclusive? They're already working in the valleys with the schools, coaching and clubs as part of the development pathways. I know this as fact as I've seen it in action with my own eyes. They're providing very well paid careers for valleys players so in that regard they're be very inclusive in the valleys. So what do you mean? Do you mean from a fan point of view? Do you want games taken on the road to valleys clubs? Do you want them to re-brand to include the valleys somehow so the fans been more included?

That is the pathway, and how it works, which we are all very happy for, as it gives our young kids the opportunities they have been denied since the collapse of our region.

But if they can recognise this, as we all can, why can't they include this in their branding, something the average valleys rugby fan can attach to ?

As we stand, Cardiff are in serious financial trouble, you would like to think they would embrace a wider fanbase, not cut them off.

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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Mar 2021, 4:03 pm

If Cardiff changed their name to Valleys Rugby how much would their attendance go up or season ticket holders. Would their squad strenght improve.

If they played a game in another part of the Region would they break even or would it cost them more money then they make.  Do the Valley clubs want the Regional teams coming in hoovering up fans thus reducing their fans and income.

Munster have two grounds because if they don't they will lose money and fans from the part of the Province with the most money and half the fans.  Cardiff aren't in the same boat. Not sure any ground outside Cardiff would get 6k regularly to a game (or hold that many fans) so what is the point. They aren't going to be given access to Sardis Road or other grounds for free, so that's more money with less return as fans aren't going to pay Cardiff prices, even if only a few quid more.

While I may not know the full ins and outs of Welsh Rugby I know enough. I come from an area with a regional team that has alot of internal conflict (covered over by success). Economics is the same in Ireland as Wales. Limerick fans don't travel to Cork. Same as Cardiff fans wouldn't travel to the valleys. Blues never had two training bases or squad divisions/fights over where you were from.

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Post by Brendan Mon 08 Mar 2021, 4:05 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I will turn this around, and without the players that the valleys are supplying, Cardiff would be up the creek without a paddle. The valleys is a rugby hotbed, that is why they are up here, rugby is not big enough in Cardiff to supply the pro team with players.

Can you provide numbers to day that the Blues couldn't supply a squad by picking up other Regions players.  Dragons as far as I know produce the most.

How many of the valley players could become professional standard if the Blues were providing all of their support to schools and clubs


I wouldn't say we (Dragons) produce the most, Brendan.  I have no idea on the numbers though. What has happened is that historically we've struggled to hold on to the good ones as they are enticed away to other regions for better chances of silverware, international honours, etc.  And I don't blame them.  We've then tended to mop up the weaker players that didn't break through in other regions in order to fill the squad and therefore our squad has been quite weak.  But more recently we've been able to hold on to more (a bit more funding) and some have shown that they can get picked for Wales consistently while playing for the Dragons which gives others more incentive to join.  Lots of people criticised the Moriarty signing at £500k as it was 1/5th of our budget (I was critical too!) but it was a bit of a catalyst for others joining and we now have quite a few good signings and internationals and, more importantly, lots signing contract extensions.  So things look on the up.  A few years back we could only dream of putting out a team with 10 current internationals but that's what we've got at the moment when all fit and available.  Brown, Dee, Rowlands, Moriarty, Wainwright, Griffiths, Roberts, Tompkins, Holmes, Hewitt, etc., etc.  Only Roberts there is not currently in and around the Wales squad, but he's not retired and there have been calls to bring him back.

That might be it though I thought most of the players you had where Gwent lads back in the day and where academy products.

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Post by GlassDu Tue 09 Mar 2021, 2:22 pm

Brendan wrote:If Cardiff changed their name to Valleys Rugby how much would their attendance go up or season ticket holders. Would their squad strenght improve.

If they played a game in another part of the Region would they break even or would it cost them more money then they make.  Do the Valley clubs want the Regional teams coming in hoovering up fans thus reducing their fans and income.

Munster have two grounds because if they don't they will lose money and fans from the part of the Province with the most money and half the fans.  Cardiff aren't in the same boat. Not sure any ground outside Cardiff would get 6k regularly to a game (or hold that many fans) so what is the point.  They aren't going to be given access to Sardis Road or other grounds for free, so that's more money with less return as fans aren't going to pay Cardiff prices, even if only a few quid more.

While I may not know the full ins and outs of Welsh Rugby I know enough.  I come from an area with a regional team that has alot of internal conflict (covered over by success). Economics is the same in Ireland as Wales.  Limerick fans don't travel to Cork.  Same as Cardiff fans wouldn't travel to the valleys.  Blues never had two training bases or squad divisions/fights over where you were from.

Not sure about the effect of changing their name to "The Valleys", but I remember fans at Pontypridd singing "I will never be a Blue". I had an article ready to back it up, but I can't post it for seven days because i'm a newbie!

Also, on holding games at Pontypridd another Walesonline article states that they turned down a number of games due to the wishes of a significant number of their supporters. On top of that, Cardiff had to play at the Dragon's ground recently because Sardis road wasn't compliant with Covid-19 protocols and Cardiff's commercial obligations.

I do actually feel bad for Ponty fans that feel displaced since the demise of the Warriors (and ideally would love to see a professional team there if we had the money), but hard to see how Cardiff as a pro team aligning with what their customers (who turn up and pay) and sponsors is such a slight to people who say they have no interest? It would be financial madness to keep trying to win fans that apparently will never support us?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 09 Mar 2021, 2:55 pm

GlassDu wrote:I do actually feel bad for Ponty fans that feel displaced since the demise of the Warriors (and ideally would love to see a professional team there if we had the money), but hard to see how Cardiff as a pro team aligning with what their customers (who turn up and pay) and sponsors is such a slight to people who say they have no interest? It would be financial madness to keep trying to win fans that apparently will never support us?

Welcome aboard GlassDu. Is your named derived from the Cardiff colours ? there was a member who used to frequent these boards with a similar name to you.

Anyway, merging Pontypridd and Cardiff was doomed from the start. They both historically do not get on, added to the fact that Cardiff payed to be stand alone from the outset.

If the dream were to happen, then you would really need to merge Pontypridd with the surrounding valleys teams like Merthyr, Pontypridd, Aberdare ect....

There must be at least 30 clubs between those three towns alone, not mention numerous others from the wider catchment area.

But that will never happen. We have what we have and we need to get on with it.

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Post by PhilBB Tue 09 Mar 2021, 3:17 pm

LordDowlais wrote:The whole regional set-up is a joke.

Most of the country is not represented. Doomed to failure from the start.

Every part of the country is represented by a region as a region is just the player pathway
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Post by PhilBB Tue 09 Mar 2021, 3:20 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Hi Risca, I do not want to get on the wrong side of a moderator, but you, and some of your fellow Dragons fans have historically had a jab at Pontypridd and their fans, so please lets be honest about things.

Anyway, now thats out of the way.

The reason why Warriors disbanded was all down to Leyton Samuel, and it was because Pontypridd RFC would not sell Sardis Rd to him. He never had any interest in Pontypridd, and was upset that the WRU were forcing his hand, he wanted Bridgend to merge with Neath. His fight with the WRU was the death of the region. The same WRU who then pulled the region, but then went on to financially give other regions a leg up.

Start from there and work it out for yourself.

You mean Leighton Samuel.

And his decision to sell the other 50% of the Celtic Warriors to the WRU was nothing to do with Sardis Road. It was because he couldn't make a business decision without the support of the other 50% owners and they deliberately delayed each decision to sour the relationship.

The same WRU who asked the other four clubs to pay £312,500 each to wind up the Warriors and to asset strip it.
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