Welsh rugby's new league structure is confirmed

First published in Sport

A NEW national league structure for Welsh rugby has been confirmed for next season after a ballot of clubs saw a significant majority vote to adopt the new format.

The board of the Welsh Rugby Union formally approved the new plan for the SWALEC Leagues after reviewing the feedback they had called for after the issue was debated by clubs at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

At the EGM earlier this month a cross section of views were expressed about the new structure which had originally been approved with the details sent out to clubs in August 2013.

In the ballot, 70 per cent of clubs or affiliated organisations responded with votes for or against, and 61 per cent of those voted to approve the new league structure.

The progress of the new league format will be monitored throughout season 2014/15 by a WRU working group and reviewed in May 2015.

An appeals panel, with an independent and legally qualified chairman, is being established to consider appeals from individual clubs relating to their league placings in the new structure.

The new leagues were established after a working party was set up to review the league format following initial feedback from the WRU club census of 2012.

The principal issues raised then by clubs were the distances travelled to fulfil fixtures and the related costs.

Contrary views relating to the new structure were expressed after the original decision to adopt the new format was communicated to clubs in 2013.

At the recent EGM it was agreed that a ballot should take place and its findings put before the WRU board before any decision to confirm the adoption of the new league was taken.

The deadline for clubs to contact the appeals panel is Friday, July 4, 2014.

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