So much for a relaxing weekend! Saturday 4th January got off to an explosive start as a letter from the Welsh Rugby Union landed on the doorsteps of its 320 member clubs. The letter (comprising three sides of bullet points) set out to explain the governing body’s stance in the ongoing dispute with the Welsh regional teams and their umbrella organisation Regional Rugby Wales.
While RRW had used the Christmas period (and its associated derbies) to publically campaign for support from the Union the WRU had, until Saturday, remained relatively quiet. Yet, having seen the deadline pass for a re-signing of the problematic Participation Agreement, the governing body decided to update its clubs on its approach while addressing all of the claims and accusations that had been leveled in recent weeks.
The Union’s main argument is that it has acted, and will continue to act, “in the best interests of rugby in Wales and for the greater good of the game”. As such, it will only allow the regions to participate in tournaments that are sanctioned by the International Rugby Board. To do otherwise, it argues, would marginalise other European Unions and, as such, weaken the Six Nations.
The response from RRW was as emotive and combative as anything seen thus far, and so we move in to the new week with the Welsh Rugby crisis as deep as ever.
A copy of the letter is displayed below.