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  • "All parties have relevant points!
    The regional system is the best solution based on the quality of players produced in wales and the money that is available.
    Although there are many that think we should play in an Anglo league, it won't work as has been pointed out with the English pyramid system and the fact their league is strong compared to the rabo, etc. All rabo teams should have to qualify regardless of country without their participation ring fenced. How can teams below others be allowed to compete in the more prestigious competition when they have proved that they can't cut it in their own league.
    The regions need to be given the best opportunities for revenue and if another European competition can do this then the WRU need to support them.
    We need to keep our best players as that's who the fans want to see at games. Younger fans want to go to see the likes of Faletau, warburton, halfpenny etc. and they are the future season ticket holders who are growing up knowing only regional rugby and won't be too bothered by all the acrimony that arose when the regions were set up.
    Moffat is correct in saying that if central contracts are to be introduced, it's all or no one. How can you have only some players financed out of a base of about 40 international players? It won't work!
    Wales also needs a proper 'a' side to allow fringe players to have a taste of international experience. Why not play tonga, USA etc during the autumn internationals at a regional ground with the 'a' side on a Friday before the test side play on a Saturday against South Africa, Australia or the all blacks? Price the tickets reasonably for these games and fans will go and it means fitting all the test games in the international window over 3 consecutive with our overseas players available.
    There is a lot of disharmony and mistrust but it is an opportunity to sort things out and move forward with stronger regions and a stronger international side."
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Dragons chief confirms Aviva Premiership is an option for regions

TV DEBATE: Newport Gwent Dragons chief executive Gareth Davies

TV DEBATE: Newport Gwent Dragons chief executive Gareth Davies

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons chief executive Gareth Davies has admitted that playing in an Anglo-Welsh League is an option if no agreement is reached in the dispute between the four regions and the Welsh Rugby Union.

The possibility of participation in such a competition has been rumoured but when pushed during a BBC Wales debate on the crisis in Welsh rugby he confirmed that it was a course of action being considered.

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis, however, told the audience: “The Union will not allow the regions to play in the Aviva Premiership.”

The regions, Dragons, Scarlets, Ospreys and Blues, want to play in a new European competition next season, the Rugby Champions Cup, rather than the Heineken Cup – an initiative being driven by the top English clubs. And they are unhappy with the commercial benefits of staying in the RaboDirect Pro12, unsure of who will sponsor it in the future.

The Union, however, is committed to both the Heineken Cup and the Pro 12.

In a lively debate, in which Davies was also representing the other regions, there appeared to be little sign of the warring parties coming together. Although there are more talks planned for tomorrow.

Both sides agreed that there was a crisis in European rugby with Davies stressing that in terms of finance the French were sprinting ahead with huge commercial deals.

He also stressed that there had to be “collaboration” between the parties for a solution to be found, not the “master and servant relationship.”

On the subject of central contracts, Lewis told the audience that the WRU could find extra money to keep the remaining top talent in Wales, if agreement could be reached. He said the money would come from “our relationship with key partners.”

Former WRU chief executive David Moffett was in the audience and said he could sort out the problem because of his greater knowledge of central contracting.

“You either have everyone on a central contract or no one,” he said.

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