HERE WE GO AGAIN! MORE ERRORS ON THE WAY TO DESTROYING PROFESSIONAL CLUB RUGBY IN WALES
January 2021 - The management of regional rugby in
Wales by the Welsh Rugby Union has been an unmitigated disaster. But it
seems it is only when the Welsh national side is unsuccessful that anyone
takes any notice.
The WRU risks repeating past mistakes with the news that South African teams are going to be added to the PRO14 professional competition. At first sight this may seem like a good idea but will for the average fan it is another distant location added to what should be a professional club competition. Some of us still remember the ill-fated WRU Challenge Trophy.
It seems like this new change is being actively promoted by the Irish who do not see the Pro14 as a competitive environment for their provinces. However, they already enjoy a competitive advantage over the other teams in it as they do not have a regulated salary cap allowing them to assemble large playing squads and retain star players. Increasingly they dictate the terms of the competition
but the success of their teams in the Pro14 is built on sand. However, most Welsh fans have no interest in playing Irish or Scots or South African teams on a regular basis in a league competition. A radical rethink of our interests is required in order that interest in team or professional rugby does not diminish further than it has.
We need to allow the professional teams to generate and keep their own revenue, to control their own competitions and to restore proper identities. There is no connection between the Dragons and the City they play in and represent. To survive the professional teams need to examine any options to play against English opposition, even at a second division level and even if we have to pay a premium to join their league.