Monthly Archives: February 2000

Will the Union ever change?

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The pasting handed out to Swansea by Leicester should ring alarm bells in WRUin Head Office. The Committee should assemble, bringing the best of Ammanford, Aberystwyth and Talybont Rugby Clubs to solve the problems associated with the professional game in Wales.It’s alright Peter Thomas – the boys in Morriston Rugby Club will solve all your problems and make sure that Welsh Club Rugby will be strong for years to come.

So we have the problem of the Welsh/Scottish League leaders being embarrassingly outplayed and basically anhilated by the leaders of the Zurich Premiership in England. Or is it a problem?

The boys down in Narberth have a new club house with a nice bar, Morriston will have a new scrummaging machine, so of course the ticket revenue and sponsors money is being well spent.

Hence the problem that Peter Thomas faces.

He wants his club to play at the highest possible standard every week – and that means the Zurich Premiership. To allow this to happen, League rugby in Wales must admit to being weak and, therefore, making the players ill prepared for the big European games.

So all that needs to happen is for the better teams in Wales – the Candy Assed Four + One – to approach the Committee and say “Send us on our way and Wales will be saved!”.

But this will never happen.

Because, should this meeting ever occur AGAIN, it will mean that Mr Morriston does not have his new scrummaging machine, and Mr Narberth will no longer have his nice new bar to prop up.

In short they will vote themselves out of existence. Money generated from sponsors and international ticket revenue should be spent supporting an elite of no more than 120 professional players in Wales, or 4 squads of 30. This money is presently available, but is spread across too many teams.

The Zurich teams will be guaranteed £1.8m per team if they agree their deal – the Welsh teams receive less than £500,000.

To guarantee that the Welsh teams would be on sure footing, the WRUin would have to find an extra £1m per season for its top teams, and this will be done from saving the money it wastes in Division 3 and television sponsorship deals for games played in Wales.

Then Welsh teams could compete on an equal level, Peter Thomas could compete at the level he desires, but Mr Narberth wouldn’t be able to pay his wobbling prop £30 a game . . . . . . . . . oh dear!

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