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Calls for an immediate inquest into the Welsh regions

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Irish Londoner
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Post by LordDowlais Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:33 am

First topic message reminder :

There is unrest in Wales by the looks of it, in the aftermath of a successful 6N the jungle drums are now beating and people want answers as to why the regions are not doing as well as people think they should be.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-regions-face-difficult-times-20322120

How long can this keep going ?

Do others on here think the Welsh regions under perform ?

The outcome of this should be very interesting.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:43 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The regions seem to have come to an agreement with the WRU over funding.


Which, of course, is all non-sensical bull. And a pack of lies.

The figures to be paid are complete unknowns, without a minimum guarantee and completely rely on WRU income. This is just management of the news to hide the fact that Phillips failed to renegotiate the loan with Nat West, having it 'deferred temporarily' instead.

Didn't they just confirm confirm this yesterday on both the regional websites and WRU website not to mention a ton of outlets.  Pretty sure they specified funding in the press releases.

In which case you haven't read it. Read it. There's no commitment to anything.

Petty sure the BBC are reporting exact funding values. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/57665959

The amounts are clearly defined. Granted there are provisions in it (which is the case in almost any legal due to liability) as there are always variables that can't be anticipated for.

If as you suggest nothing was defined there wouldn't have been a need to sign a new agreement. Clearly both parties are happy with this and have signed up as stated in the article. See quote "Success on the field requires a realistic and sustainable funding plan which I am delighted we have agreed," said Blanc (Chairman for the PRB - who represent the 4 regions.

Anyway your boring me now.....








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Post by Intotouch Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:45 am

Hello PhilBB. Why do you think that the Dragons would be better off if the WRU sells them off? “the Dragons (who, hopefully, will be out of WRU ownership at some point during the next season).” Are they not more likely to survive if owned by the union? Is the WRU investing less in the Dragons than you think a private owner would?

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Post by PhilBB Wed Jul 28, 2021 2:38 pm

Intotouch wrote:Hello PhilBB. Why do you think that the Dragons would be better off if the WRU sells them off? “the Dragons (who, hopefully, will be out of WRU ownership at some point during the next season).” Are they not more likely to survive if owned by the union? Is the WRU investing less in the Dragons than you think a private owner would?

No rugby club should be owned by a Union.

The Dragons will be better off as they'll be able to generate their own income and control their own future.

At present, the Dragons receive more from the WRU than do the other three.
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Post by PhilBB Wed Jul 28, 2021 2:39 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The regions seem to have come to an agreement with the WRU over funding.


Which, of course, is all non-sensical bull. And a pack of lies.

The figures to be paid are complete unknowns, without a minimum guarantee and completely rely on WRU income. This is just management of the news to hide the fact that Phillips failed to renegotiate the loan with Nat West, having it 'deferred temporarily' instead.

Didn't they just confirm confirm this yesterday on both the regional websites and WRU website not to mention a ton of outlets.  Pretty sure they specified funding in the press releases.

In which case you haven't read it. Read it. There's no commitment to anything.

Petty sure the BBC are reporting exact funding values. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/57665959

The amounts are clearly defined.  Granted there are provisions in it (which is the case in almost any legal due to liability) as there are always variables that can't be anticipated for.  

If as you suggest nothing was defined there wouldn't have been a need to sign a new agreement.  Clearly both parties are happy with this and have signed up as stated in the article.  See quote "Success on the field requires a realistic and sustainable funding plan which I am delighted we have agreed," said Blanc (Chairman for the PRB - who represent the 4 regions.

Anyway your boring me now.....


There is no new agreement. There is nothing defined. Those are just projections.

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Post by Irish Londoner Thu Jul 29, 2021 11:30 am

PhilBB wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Hello PhilBB. Why do you think that the Dragons would be better off if the WRU sells them off? “the Dragons (who, hopefully, will be out of WRU ownership at some point during the next season).” Are they not more likely to survive if owned by the union? Is the WRU investing less in the Dragons than you think a private owner would?

No rugby club should be owned by a Union.

The Dragons will be better off as they'll be able to generate their own income and control their own future.

At present, the Dragons receive more from the WRU than do the other three.

Why should no rugby club be run by a union ? Apart from PhillBB doesn't like it?

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Post by Brendan Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:56 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Hello PhilBB. Why do you think that the Dragons would be better off if the WRU sells them off? “the Dragons (who, hopefully, will be out of WRU ownership at some point during the next season).” Are they not more likely to survive if owned by the union? Is the WRU investing less in the Dragons than you think a private owner would?

No rugby club should be owned by a Union.

The Dragons will be better off as they'll be able to generate their own income and control their own future.

At present, the Dragons receive more from the WRU than do the other three.

Why should no rugby club be run by a union ? Apart from PhillBB doesn't like it?

I think that most Dragon fans would view the Union owned period as better than the non union owned period that preceded it. Add in that the WRU seemed to have been limited by the other 3 teams as to how much they can invest. If the WRU had free reign I think most people wouldn't want it not Union owned.

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Post by Intotouch Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:23 am

Why should no rugby club be owned by a union PhilBB?

Controlling their own future and generating their own income sounds great but how many rugby clubs generate their own income?

I’m not up to date with premiership clubs finances but a few years ago only Exeter weren’t in debt. Rugby clubs in France also seem to run at a loss. The reality as I see it is that the majority of clubs are either owned by unions or indulgent millionaires. And if they are pet projects of individuals that isn’t really controlling their own future.

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Post by Brendan Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:50 am

I think some people think all teams should be private owned with large handouts from unions. If you take out union funding most private owned teams fall over night.

Many people have two jobs that they agree terms with. I am sure that players would choose RFU over the club's if it came to a head.

Yes both get benefits for the agreement but if the international game went amateur the 6N would still sell out, not sure the same can be said for the professional clubs. Farrel is worth more to Sarries in terms of income because everyone knows him as a RFU employee. Doubt a non international 10 would be worth the same for the club.

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Post by PhilBB Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:50 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Hello PhilBB. Why do you think that the Dragons would be better off if the WRU sells them off? “the Dragons (who, hopefully, will be out of WRU ownership at some point during the next season).” Are they not more likely to survive if owned by the union? Is the WRU investing less in the Dragons than you think a private owner would?

No rugby club should be owned by a Union.

The Dragons will be better off as they'll be able to generate their own income and control their own future.

At present, the Dragons receive more from the WRU than do the other three.

Why should no rugby club be run by a union ? Apart from PhillBB doesn't like it?

Because the essence of sport is that the club lives and dies by its own efforts, not as a puppy plaything of a governing body. Furthermore, the governing body is supposed to treat its members equally.

Your question suggests you don't understand the basics of sport.
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Post by PhilBB Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:51 am

Brendan wrote:
I think that most Dragon fans would view the Union owned period as better than the non union owned period that preceded it.  Add in that the WRU seemed to have been limited by the other 3 teams as to how much they can invest.  If the WRU had free reign I think most people wouldn't want it not Union owned.

There was no period of 'non union owned' so God knows what you're making up.

The WRU aren't limited by the other three, either, so you continue to write garbage. Your final sentence indicates that you don't understand Welsh rugby.
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Post by PhilBB Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:52 am

Intotouch wrote: how many rugby clubs generate their own income?

And if they are pet projects of individuals that isn’t really controlling their own future.

All of them and yes they are.
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Post by PhilBB Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:54 am

Brendan wrote:I think some people think all teams should be private owned with large handouts from unions.  If you take out union funding most private owned teams fall over night.

Many people have two jobs that they agree terms with.  I am sure that players would choose RFU over the club's if it came to a head.

Yes both get benefits for the agreement but if the international game went amateur the 6N would still sell out, not sure the same can be said for the professional clubs.  Farrel is worth more to Sarries in terms of income because everyone knows him as a RFU employee.  Doubt a non international 10 would be worth the same for the club.

There is no handout and there is no funding. There's just a payment.

There's no doubt that the international game has a greater exposure, at this stage of professionalism in rugby. There's also little doubt that international rugby is now saturated and the growth market is only club rugby.

Interesting how you think it could come to a head.
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Post by Brendan Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:55 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Brendan wrote:I think some people think all teams should be private owned with large handouts from unions.  If you take out union funding most private owned teams fall over night.

Many people have two jobs that they agree terms with.  I am sure that players would choose RFU over the club's if it came to a head.

Yes both get benefits for the agreement but if the international game went amateur the 6N would still sell out, not sure the same can be said for the professional clubs.  Farrel is worth more to Sarries in terms of income because everyone knows him as a RFU employee.  Doubt a non international 10 would be worth the same for the club.

There is no handout and there is no funding. There's just a payment.

There's no doubt that the international game has a greater exposure, at this stage of professionalism in rugby. There's also little doubt that international rugby is now saturated and the growth market is only club rugby.

Interesting how you think it could come to a head.

I have two jobs, one of my employers does not pay the other for having my time.  I agree my time with each separately.  The professional teams would be lost without Union funding.

I never said it would come to a head.  I said if the RFU chose to not pay the PRL (like they have effectively done with the championship) that the players would take the RFU coin over the PRL most likely.

RFU are paying the PRL £25.5m per season but the second 4 years there is talk of that halving. So these privately owned clubs that are so great are needing Union hand outs.  Or if we look at the private owned teams in Wales who have needed the WRU to pay 80% of 38 players wages.  Not sure how many are at the Dragons but  if private owners are so great why do they need so much Union money, why not just get grants for stadium and pitch improvements like normal clubs. What T1 union would fall part if the Private owners pulled the plug.

As far as I am aware (and I could be wrong) but the only Union owned team to cease trading was the boarders.  It could be argued that the Force would have but for a private owner so we will count that too.

Private owned teams to fold
Kings ceased trading and may never be seen again as a private team.
Arroni folded when their private backers stepped away.
Warriors was a private owned team who ceased trading that was helped out by the Union. If the Union hadn't stepped in to bring it to an orderly conclusion it could have been a mid season mess.
As it is about Welsh teams (The thread incase I get accused of only talking about Wales), Regionalism showed the complete mess the private backed teams had got themselves into and if the WRU had not stepped in and made it happen how many of the 8 teams to form the Regions would have gone bust knowing what we know now how much debt there was being hidden from the public. Of those 8 teams how many of them could afford to go on like they were without running into difficulties.
Richmond, London Welsh Leeds and others who had to drop down levels after insolvency
I am sure there are French teams that have also suffered simillar fate.

Unions generally don't walk away from their own teams unless it is going to drag the Union down (such as the boarders).  When a private owner walks away there often isn't another private owner ready such as the cases above, or you get situations like Worcester and Ospreys unfold before they finally find a new backer.

I doubt the internationals is at saturation point.  Most of the T1 international teams fill their Stadia for games against T2 teams.  Most people in Rugby follow the Union with professional teams comfortably second.  France maybe is the exception but maybe that is why they nearly have as many professional teams as the other 6N countries combined. You only have to look at the press coverage any rest week in the 6N to know where rugby fans interest lies.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:31 am

PhilBB wrote:
Brendan wrote:I think some people think all teams should be private owned with large handouts from unions.  If you take out union funding most private owned teams fall over night.

Many people have two jobs that they agree terms with.  I am sure that players would choose RFU over the club's if it came to a head.

Yes both get benefits for the agreement but if the international game went amateur the 6N would still sell out, not sure the same can be said for the professional clubs.  Farrel is worth more to Sarries in terms of income because everyone knows him as a RFU employee.  Doubt a non international 10 would be worth the same for the club.

There is no handout and there is no funding. There's just a payment.

There's no doubt that the international game has a greater exposure, at this stage of professionalism in rugby. There's also little doubt that international rugby is now saturated and the growth market is only club rugby.

Interesting how you think it could come to a head.

Apart from the semantics what's the difference between a payment and funding?
Without the money that the clubs get from the unions - whatever you call it - there would be at best a dozen viable professional clubs in the whole of GB and NI - Leinster would be OK with the money they could generate in Dublin, maybe Ulster on a smaller scale, none of the Scottish teams, none of the Welsh teams and only the sugar daddy clubs in England - Saracens, Bath, etc. probably Tigers,Saints and Quins could keep going albeit in "much reduced" circumstances given they have a solid supporter base.

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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:01 pm

Brendan wrote:
I have two jobs, one of my employers does not pay the other for having my time.  I agree my time with each separately.  .

That's not how professional rugby works in Wales, Brendan. Or anywhere else where the players aren't contracted to the Union.
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:02 pm

Brendan wrote:
I never said it would come to a head.  I said if the RFU chose to not pay the PRL (like they have effectively done with the championship) that the players would take the RFU coin over the PRL most likely.

Other than the fact the RFU can't afford "the coin" for 13+ clubs
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:02 pm

Brendan wrote:
RFU are paying the PRL £25.5m per season but the second 4 years there is talk of that halving. So these privately owned clubs that are so great are needing Union hand outs.

Your first sentence includes "paying". The second used "hand outs"

Dear Christ
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:04 pm

Brendan wrote:Or if we look at the private owned teams in Wales who have needed the WRU to pay 80% of 38 players wages.

There you go again, undermining your claim that you like facts.

The WRU doesn't pay 80% of the 38 player wages, of course. The clubs pay all 100% themselves.

If you liked facts, you'd understand the WRU has insisted that part of its payment for services under the PRA is used in that manner. That's all. EPS payments are the same.
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:05 pm

Brendan wrote:if private owners are so great why do they need so much Union money, why not just get grants for stadium and pitch improvements like normal clubs. .

Which 'normal clubs' get 'just grants', Brendan?
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:06 pm

Brendan wrote:What T1 union would fall part if the Private owners pulled the plug.

England, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Wales.

In turn, then so would Ireland and Scotland as the contagion would be too great. Broadcast deals would collapse, leading to the death of those T1 unions as their "lender of last resort" model sees the game's sole source of income going dry.
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:09 pm

Brendan wrote:
As far as I am aware (and I could be wrong) but the only Union owned team to cease trading was the boarders.  It could be argued that the Force would have but for a private owner so we will count that too.

Borders.
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:10 pm

Brendan wrote:
Warriors was a private owned team who ceased trading that was helped out by the Union. If the Union hadn't stepped in to bring it to an orderly conclusion it could have been a mid season mess.

Factless nonsense.

Celtic Warriors was to be singularly owned by Bridgend RFC until the WRU blocked that and demanded a free 50% for themselves. They then lied to Bridgend RFC upon the sale of Bridgend's 50% to the WRU.

Then, as a 100% WRU owned team, the Celtic Warriors were shut down.

So that's Borders and Celtic Warriors.
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:12 pm

Brendan wrote:
As it is about Welsh teams (The thread incase I get accused of only talking about Wales), Regionalism showed the complete mess the private backed teams had got themselves into and if the WRU had not stepped in and made it happen how many of the 8 teams to form the Regions would have gone bust knowing what we know now how much debt there was being hidden from the public.  Of those 8 teams how many of them could afford to go on like they were without running into difficulties.

There was no debt being hidden from the public as all had published audited accounts. You've just accused 8 clubs of committing fraud. So much for your claimed love of 'facts', eh?

The WRU didn't step in, either, by the way. The clubs themselves drove the reduction in the number of professional teams as they realised there was insufficient money and talent in Wales to have so many professional teams.

You can't bang on about loving facts only to write such drivel on a subject you clearly know next to nothing about.
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:13 pm

Brendan wrote:
Unions generally don't walk away from their own teams unless it is going to drag the Union down (such as the boarders).  When a private owner walks away there often isn't another private owner ready such as the cases above, or you get situations like Worcester and Ospreys unfold before they finally find a new backer.

Sorry, what 'situation' 'unfolded' at the Ospreys?
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:14 pm

Brendan wrote:
I doubt the internationals is at saturation point.  

Sponsorship and TV revenue, at this stage, tends to disagree with you. As do CVC, judging by the rumoured changes they wish to make to the global international game.
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Post by PhilBB Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:16 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Apart from the semantics what's the difference between a payment and funding?
Without the money that the clubs get from the unions - whatever you call it - there would be at best a dozen viable professional clubs in the whole of GB and NI - Leinster would be OK with the money they could generate in Dublin, maybe Ulster on a smaller scale, none of the Scottish teams, none of the Welsh teams and only the sugar daddy clubs in England - Saracens, Bath, etc. probably Tigers,Saints and Quins could keep going albeit in "much reduced" circumstances given they have a solid supporter base.

Funding is a gift with nothing expected in return. Payment is for a service already provided.

You're basically asking "what's the difference between a salary and me begging for a quid off a bloke at a train station?"

Leinster doesn't exist outside of the IRFU, so it doesn't "get" money from the Union. It is the Union.

You also seem to forget the Welsh clubs have their sugar daddies.
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Post by Intotouch Thu Sep 09, 2021 10:55 am

PhiBB,
You ignored my point that about two years ago only Exeter out of all of the clubs in the premiership made a profit. If clubs are supposed to stand or fall based on their own values, as you say, then that suggests that no club should receive money from people or organisations to enable them to survive. You know very well that if pro rugby clubs tried to do this that the majority would fold because they cannot afford to keep going without receiving sugar daddy’s, union or government money on an occasional or annual basis. This is the reality of pro rugby in Europe. Now my knowledge is two years old so if this information is wrong now and all are making profits I’d be surprised but accept that this is possible.

I don’t think that there’s anything particularly wrong with individuals, governments or unions stepping in to help a club to survive. The basics of sport is that in most countries around the world governments and governing bodies and individuals help sport to survive and thrive. Why should rugby union be the sport where receiving financial help isn’t acceptable?

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu Sep 09, 2021 4:08 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Funding is a gift with nothing expected in return. Payment is for a service already provided.

Actually Phil that statement is rarely true.  In most cases funding always has linked permutations.  For example funds towards research projects generally stipulate the funding uses.  Even generic things such as Crowd funding in recent years, has seen circumstances where the companies funded have been taken to court for not delivering on the companies funding goals for development by the funding investors.  Even in a sport situation funding is often given with the specific goals in place based on performance.  This is why for example the funding each region in Wales receives differing amounts of money based on performance and representation (which relates to player form).  

I'll also correct the payment bit for you. Payment is the transfer of money, goods, or services in exchange for goods and services in acceptable proportions that have been previously agreed upon by all parties involved. So basically a payment can relate to a wide number of things.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:27 pm

Good god, our union trying to destroy the game again. Read the below via the WOL.

Welsh rugby chiefs propose giving some regions more than others in major change to create two tiers among Ospreys, Scarlets, Cardiff and Dragons

WRU chiefs have revealed they are considering a new funding model which would see certain regions pushed for success in Europe.

The finances of the four teams - Scarlets, Cardiff, Ospreys and Dragons - is a continuing subject for debate, particularly on the back of the challenges presented by the Covid 19 pandemic.


In the past, there has been talk about a possible two-tier funding model with either a 2+2 or 3+1 system in operation, providing certain regions with significantly enhanced resources to make them more competitive.

Now that concept seems to be back on the table.

WRU chief executive Steve Phillips confirmed as much during the last quarterly meeting between the governing bodies and the regional Joint Supporters Group.

Total payments from the Union to the four regions for services provided, notably access to international players, will be £23m this season and £23.5m for the 2022-23 campaign.


That pot is distributed on a weighted basis by the Professional Rugby Board, depending on the number of players each region has in Wayne Pivac’s elite squad and other factors.


At the meeting, which took place last month, Phillips was asked by Huw Jones of the CF10 Rugby Trust if this level of overall funding was sufficient to allow clubs to achieve their objectives in the United Rugby Championship and Europe.

The chief executive, who was formerly the Union’s finance director, said this was the best they could do.

However, he revealed there was an ongoing conversation about whether a specific number of clubs should be pushed for success.

Phillips said it was unrealistic to get all four teams into the Champions Cup, but that Wales definitely need one, if not two teams in there.

He gave Irish big guns Leinster as an example of how a single team is pushed by its home union for success in Europe.

Phillips said the number of Welsh teams pushed needed to be agreed, with reaching the latter stages of the Champions Cup being reliant on money and the quality of playing squads.

He said the distribution model would remain the same until PRB agreed to any changes, but added he was drafting a paper for their consideration for possible implementation in 2022-23.

He said changing the funding model was not something the WRU would do unilaterally.'

During the meeting, the Union’s head of digital and communications, Mark Killingley, cited the example of Leicester City winning the Premiership title in 2016, while having half the budget of other top-flight English football clubs, and also pointed to Connacht and the Scarlets winning the PRO12.

He then posed the question: “Why do you think money is so linked to ambition and is so fundamental to clubs?”

But Cathy Green, of the Ospreys Supporters Club, responded by saying Phillips talking about potentially funding one or two regions much higher than the others to achieve improved results indicated the WRU too must believe money is linked to success.

She added it was clear underfunded teams win the league or win in Europe far less than, for example, Leinster, saying the challenge was continuous success, which required money.

Phillips was also asked to provide an update on the £20m NatWest bank loan which the WRU took out to keep the pro game afloat, covering the shortfall in income caused by the Covid pandemic.

That money will have to be paid back by the four regions over the next four years.

The Union have talked about renegotiating the terms of the loan, extending it over a longer period, to lessen the financial burden on the pro teams.

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 20, 2021 11:17 am

I like how the Ospreys supporter person pointed out the hole in their logic.

The WRU person also seems to misunderstand why Leinster are successful and the regions are not.  Yes money allows you to keep players but the IRFU have been actively looking to move players out of Leinster.

The reason for Leinster's success is their academy.  As they don't recruit to much all their success would be nothing like it is now if they had the Connacht Academy to rely on.  If I remember correctly Scarlets team that won was heavily local talent with a few bargin/smart buys.  If the Welsh had better academies would Sheedy, LRZ etc be playing for the Welsh regions instead of coming through the English system.

Does the player wage payments not already reward the teams with better players who should in theory be in the Champions Cup.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Sep 20, 2021 12:33 pm

Brendan wrote: If the Welsh had better academies would Sheedy, LRZ etc be playing for the Welsh regions instead of coming through the English system.

It has nothing to do with the academies. The academies in Wales are fine. I suggest you go and educate yourself on the rugby schools/colleges/universities that come over and offer these kids scholarships that are not available to them in Wales. These schools come to Wales to entice these kids.

Callum Sheedy came through Millfield School and was then picked up by Bristol Bears, LRZ came through the Hartpury Collage system and was then picked up by Gloucester.

These players were offered scholarships that are not available to them in Wales, the academies are powerless to stop this happening when they are enticed by the English rugby schools, it happens every season. Thats why we have the Welsh exiles programme so that we can keep an eye on these players whilst they are plying their trade in England.




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Post by mikey_dragon Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:23 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:  If the Welsh had better academies would Sheedy, LRZ etc be playing for the Welsh regions instead of coming through the English system.

It has nothing to do with the academies. The academies in Wales are fine.

You haven't watched the Wales U20s in recent years then.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:45 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:  If the Welsh had better academies would Sheedy, LRZ etc be playing for the Welsh regions instead of coming through the English system.

It has nothing to do with the academies. The academies in Wales are fine.

You haven't watched the Wales U20s in recent years then.

The academies have nothing to do with our players ending up in the rugby schools in England.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:05 pm

Also, even if the kids are in England, they can still play for the U20's. So I would suggest the the problems with the U20's would stem from the coaching side of things.

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 20, 2021 3:08 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:  If the Welsh had better academies would Sheedy, LRZ etc be playing for the Welsh regions instead of coming through the English system.

It has nothing to do with the academies. The academies in Wales are fine. I suggest you go and educate yourself on the rugby schools/colleges/universities that come over and offer these kids scholarships that are not available to them in Wales. These schools come to Wales to entice these kids.

Callum Sheedy came through Millfield School and was then picked up by Bristol Bears, LRZ came through the Hartpury Collage system and was then picked up by Gloucester.

These players were offered scholarships that are not available to them in Wales, the academies are powerless to stop this happening when they are enticed by the English rugby schools, it happens every season. Thats why we have the Welsh exiles programme so that we can keep an eye on these players whilst they are plying their trade in England.




Is there no private school in Wales that can allow the players to stay at home. If players believed that the Welsh academy system gave them the best chance to be a professional they would stay. Why are the Welsh players choosing to go into Premership accedemies rather than return to one of the Welsh Regions when leaving school.

Do you feel the Welsh academy system is functioning to its potential. Which Region has the best functioning one.

Munster academy was not so they had to go fix it and now it appears to be and it is helping them bring through better prepared players.

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Post by The Oracle Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:10 pm

There are far fewer fee paying schools in Wales compared to England, and even fewer with top rugby programmes. Llandovery College and Christ College Brecon are a couple I know of. But England has loads more. If you can get a sports scholarship to a fee paying school in England is is more about the life prospects attending such a school can give you if the rugby doesn’t work out, rather than the sporting prospects themselves! Parents will push kids towards it more for the education and career prospects off the back of sporting prowess, if that make sense. And if the sport turns into something like a career prospect, well that’s just a bonus. But yes, the England schools tend to have good links with the premiership sides and awesome facilities and sport staff. They can afford to pay for top rugby coaches whereas in the ‘normal’ state secondary schools you just get a sports teacher on a normal teachers salary, so unlikely to be top notch at developing rugby. There are plenty of success stories in state schools of course. Brynteg Comprehensive in Wales for example has produced a load of Lions and Wales internationals. But you’re always going to have better sporting outcomes at the top few paying schools, and England just has far more and a greater proportion of them too per population.

Just for info (LD) - Hartpury is not a good example of this. They are just a further education college really, like Coleg Gwent. Just with a very good rugby academy. It’s not somewhere you go to for the kudos and life opportunities like you do at the likes of Millfield or Sedbergh in England.
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Post by LordDowlais Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:41 pm

Brendan wrote:Is there no private school in Wales that can allow the players to stay at home.

Not that I am aware of, although I could be wrong.

Why are the Welsh players choosing to go into Premership accedemies rather than return to one of the Welsh Regions when leaving school.

Because the ones who make it end up playing for the teams where these schools are, have a look where Milfield is on the map, and then have a look at the nearest pro rugby team, and then have a look where Callim Sheedy is playing, the same with LRZ and Hartpury, you do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure it out, sometimes the ones who do not make come back to the regions, but the regional academies are for kids, by the time they finish their scholarships the players are not kids anymore.

Every season there are scouts from English clubs who work with the private schools in the area that come over to Wales and watch our age grades, they then offer scholarships that the player, and the parents cannot turn down, imagine getting private tutelage for free just because you can play rugby, and just remember, a lot of these kids are from areas where money is tight.

Brendan wrote:Do you feel the Welsh academy system is functioning to its potential.

Well yes, a lot of players have come through the academies and gone onto represent Wales, off the top of my head:-

Scarlets

Gareth Davies
Ken Owens
Jonathan Davies
Ryan Ellias
Liam Williams
Rhys Patchell
Rob Evans
Samson Lee
Scott Williams
Wyn Jones
Stefan Hughes

Dragons


Leon Brown
Elliot Dee
Ashton Hewitt
Aaron Wainwright

Cardiff

Scott Andrews
Keiron Assirati
Kristian Dacey
Seb Davies
Jarrod Evans
Ellis Jenkins
Owen Lane
Dillon Lewis
Josh Navidi
Lloyd Williams
Tomas Williams

Ospreys

Adam Beard
AWJ
Sam Parry
Nicky Smith
Justin Tipuric
Owen Watkin
Rhys Webb

OK thats a few off the top of my head, you then have players playing for Wales at the regions that have come from other Welsh academies like George North at Ospreys, Leigh Halfpenny at Scarlets, Bradley Davies, Sam Davies, Richard Hibbard, Jamie Roberts. The regions are also full of academy products, and lets not forget the ones who have moved away, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar, they have all come through the academies, so yes I do think it's functioning to quite a high level.

No doubt there are quite a few that I have missed.

Brendan wrote:Which Region has the best functioning one.

They are all much of a muchness if you ask me, although if I were to nail one to the mast, I would say Scarlets. But all four serve their purposes, even the much maligned Dragons regional pathway produce gems like Faletau and Aaron Wainwrite.

Im sorry if this is a bit long winded, but it shows that it the statement you made about the Welsh players going through the English system because the the regions need better academies is a long way from the truth and just another sweeping statement from yourself, because in truth, the regional academies are not all that bad.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:47 pm

The Oracle wrote:Just for info (LD) - Hartpury is not a good example of this. They are just a further education college really, like Coleg Gwent. Just with a very good rugby academy. It’s not somewhere you go to for the kudos and life opportunities like you do at the likes of Millfield or Sedbergh in England.

I think you have to be very naive to not recognise the the link between Hartpury college and Gloucester RFC. In fact take a look at most of the schools where people get offered scholarships, then look at the local pro club, and see how many players have gone from one to the other.

Lets not forget, these Welsh players are from very underprivileged areas of South Wales, where a rugby scholarship would be like winning the lottery for both the player, and the parents.

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Post by The Oracle Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:19 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Just for info (LD) - Hartpury is not a good example of this. They are just a further education college really, like Coleg Gwent. Just with a very good rugby academy. It’s not somewhere you go to for the kudos and life opportunities like you do at the likes of Millfield or Sedbergh in England.

I think you have to be very naive to not recognise the the link between Hartpury college and Gloucester RFC. In fact take a look at most of the schools where people get offered scholarships, then look at the local pro club, and see how many players have gone from one to the other.

Lets not forget, these Welsh players are from very underprivileged areas of South Wales, where a rugby scholarship would be like winning the lottery for both the player, and the parents.

You misunderstand me. Hartpury does not offer scholarships for education in the same way as the ‘posh’ schools such as Millfield or Sedbergh. You don’t go to Hartputy if your are an academic high flier. It’s not the same for a parent seeking to get a child into Millfield. You wouldn’t generally be seeking out an academic scholarship to Hartpury. So my point was that Hartpury is not a relevant example here. If you want to include them then you have to include every college and university in England too as potential for ‘poaching’ as that’s what Hartpury are - a further education establishment. They are not a fee paying school.
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Post by Oakdene Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:55 am

Hartpury took 9 players from a Pembrokeshire (west Wales) youth side on rugby scholarship this academic year alone & I know that of that 9, only one is attached to a regional side in terms of academy.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:27 am

Oakdene wrote:Hartpury took 9 players from a Pembrokeshire (west Wales) youth side on rugby scholarship this academic year alone & I know that of that 9, only one is attached to a regional side in terms of academy.

Exactly. They have scouts over here watching our age grades all the time.

Then we get people like Brendan making sweeping statements about the regional academies not being good enough. Those 9 people have been made offers that they themselves cannot turn down, and I bet their parents are chuffed to bits that their kids are going into higher education all payed for with the potential to end up playing pro rugby, as well as coming out with a degree of some sort.

I know only too well the cost of sending your kids to uni. My daughter is 20yrs old, and she is just finishing her masters, it has cost me a small fortune, her fees alone are in the high five figures per year, not to mention her living costs, her travel costs to and from England. I bet it was like winning the lottery for those 9 families.

This just shows, that it has nothing to do with the academies not being good enough so kids end up choosing to go through the English system.

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Post by Oakdene Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:56 am

I agree LD, if you look at the regions academies they are working as they are churning out players for the regions & the national team. Granted one or two may be better than the others but still they are working.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:06 am

Oakdene wrote:Hartpury took 9 players from a Pembrokeshire (west Wales) youth side on rugby scholarship this academic year alone & I know that of that 9, only one is attached to a regional side in terms of academy.

Gloucester/Hartbury have done this for quite some time now. This is targeted recruitment.

The reason for this is because if they can develop a youngster into a senior squad and then that player leaves regardless of how many times he turned out for the senior side, they receive compensation as a club for the development. This means they often get larger sums back than what it cost to sign the youngster in the first place (they often give them academy contracts which either give those youngsters free uni fees etc)

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:08 am

The Oracle wrote:Hartpury does not offer scholarships for education in the same way as the ‘posh’ schools such as Millfield or Sedbergh.

Only just noticed this, sorry, but they do offer scholarships. These scholarships are like gold dust to the people they are offered to. OK

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:13 am

Welshmushroom wrote:Gloucester/Hartbury have done this for quite some time now. This is targeted recruitment.

It's not just Hartpury mind, Millfield, Oakham School, Clifton, Rugby School and Filton, which have strong rugby set-ups are over here circling for kids with potential.

It's testament to the academies that they are still producing whilst competing with these schools for players.

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:30 am

But can the WRU or Regions not do Simillar deals with the private schools or university in Wales.

Few places have the number of schools like Leinster but if any place was able to match the number of schools it would be South Wales.

Munster has been churning out players but until the last 2/3 years they have been squad players. All I am saying is that I would give anything to have the school system the Regions can tap into.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:59 am

Brendan wrote:But can the WRU or Regions not do Simillar deals with the private schools or university in Wales.

Why do they need to ? The academies are doing just fine. Rugby in Wales is a community sport, the whole villages and towns revolve around their rugby teams, we do not need to send kids to school to produce players. They are working class kids, with working class parents who generally put just as much into the game as the clubs, academies ect as everyone else do.

You really need to realise, that rugby in Wales does not revolve around the four regions.

You made the statement that we need better academies to keep our players, to stop them going through the English system, when in fact, that statement is so far wide of the mark. If what you are saying were to happen, the academies would just lose players to the Welsh schools instead of the English schools.

There is absolutely no logic in what you are saying what so ever. Hopefully you are now aware that Wales have a lot of players coming through the English system, because the English system come and get them, not because the academies in Wales are not good enough. You just need to check before you make your sweeping statements without having anything to back them up. OK


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Post by Welshmushroom Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:11 pm

Keep in mind for each young welsh player earning a academy deal in England, opens up one more academy placement at the regions that might not have been available.  

So anything that see's more young welsh talent securing deals like this increases the young player pool for Wales.

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Post by The Oracle Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:42 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Hartpury does not offer scholarships for education in the same way as the ‘posh’ schools such as Millfield or Sedbergh.

Only just noticed this, sorry, but they do offer scholarships. These scholarships are like gold dust to the people they are offered to. OK


We're at cross purposes here LD.  I'll try again.  The likes of Sedbergh and Millfield are 11-18 fee paying schools.  Costs to study there are something like £30,000 per year or more (£10-12k per term).  These are the ones that parents would love their children to get into from an education point of view.  These are the ones that churn out the future UK leaders, movers and shakers, politicians, etc.  At Hatpury on the other hand education is free if you are younger than 19.  So not fee paying.  After that it depends on what you do.  They have degree awarding powers and so charge £9k per year like any other uni in the UK.  The 'posh' schools do not have post 18 education.  They are not higher education institutions.  People leaving Millfield go on to other universities.  In other words, they are completely different types of education establishments.  Hartpury is no different from Merthyr college, apart from them having a much better rugby team.  It is more like UWIC in some ways I guess - i.e. a team good enough to complete in the 2nd or 3rd tiers of rugby in their respective countries.  But anyone, including you or I can go to Hartpury and study business studies or sport studies or something similar, and if we try out for the rugby team and they deem us good enough for the rugby team then we can play for them.  They offer some sports bursaries (around £1000 or so) but it is not to cover their course fees.  It is more to cover costs of travel for sport, kit, etc.  Certainly not to pay for their fees!  There is a tie in with Gloucester where they study at Hartpury while training at Gloucester, but this is no different than what we have at the uni where i work (USW in Pontypridd) where we have Cardiff City academy based at our sports park and the players are signed up to our uni courses.  It's more a mutual benefit sort of thing.

In short, just don't include Hatpury in this as they're not the same as the posh fee paying schools!!!  They're just a college/uni like hundreds of others in the UK Hug
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Post by LordDowlais Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:10 pm

The Oracle wrote:In short, just don't include Hatpury in this as they're not the same as the posh fee paying schools!!! They're just a college/uni like hundreds of others in the UK Hug

Yes, I understand exactly where you are coming from, Hartpury is not the high end toff posh school that has their graduates singing "I am an English man" chariots of fire type.

No, but it is higher education, and if you can get a free scholarship, for playing rugby, and come out of it with a degree, then if you are from an underprivileged area of the UK, like, say, South Wales Valleys, then you are not going to turn the opportunity down.

You then end up going through the English system, which has nothing to do with the academies not being good enough at the regions. thumbsup

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