WRU Self Interest makes a mockery of Welsh Rugby’s spirit of true partnerhsip

After the news broke that the WRU had blocked the Ospreys from playing a mid-week fixture against Tonga, the immediate outpouring was to ask the simplest of questions: why?

The WRU have come up with the reasons, although excuses is a more accurate word, that they are firstly concerned about player burnout and secondly that it is a fixture that will detract fans away from other premiership/regional games.

With regards to the first point, it is almost laughable that the WRU have wheeled this out as a reason. In under 20’s tournaments, players regularly have to play three games in eight days. At the end of the season when delayed fixtures have to be completed, three games in eight days is again a normality; why have the WRU never expressed their concerns on this?

With regards to the Ospreys squad for the Tonga fixture, yes a great deal of players would be away with Wales, but it would be a team made up of young players who would relish the opportunity of playing against an international side, and they are more than fit enough to cope with a mid-week fixture.

If the WRU are so concerned with player burn out, it begs the question as to why they have yet again organised an extra fixture in the Autumn Series outside the International window. It would appear that as long as the players are playing for Wales, burn out is not something they consider.

Moving onto the second point, that the midweek fixture would take supporters away from other premiership and regional fixtures on the weekend; is utterly risible. If anything, it would promote the game further throughout the Ospreys’ region. Supporters would get to see their young players, who often play for their premiership side, compete against an international team. It would garner interest and enthusiasm for the game. It would bring great rugby to a key area of the Ospreys’ region. There are in fact no negatives to take from the fixture.

The only fixture the proposed midweek game could possibly have an effect on would be the Friday match of Wales v Samoa. But surely the WRU is not so selfish and childish as to prevent a region promoting itself for its own financial gain?

Time and again recently we’ve seen Roger Lewis come out and say that the regions current woes are down to their own mismanagement. If that’s the case, why then are they now stamping on any idea the regions have to better themselves?

It is a truly baffling situation, and it only presents the WRU in a bad light.
They appear to be determined to only promote international rugby in Wales, and this blocking of a midweek fixture for the Ospreys only goes further to prove that.

As stated in a previous article, the WRU has to remember that there is more to rugby in Wales than the international team. No one is denying that the regions have been mismanaged in the past, but the WRU stopping the opportunities the regions are trying to use to manage themselves properly, is counterproductive.

This decision by the WRU has now confirmed that they believe they are in direct competition with the regions, as opposed to helping them, as was first seen back in 2008 when they again blocked the Ospreys having an extra match, this time against the Barbarians. This issue of competition for supporters will raise its head again in the added on international fixture of Wales v Australia. It comes the same weekend as the Ospreys v Blues; one of the biggest regional fixtures has now been forced to become a sideshow, where neither team will have their best players available.

This fixture alone, and its timing, speaks volumes as to how the WRU are treating domestic rugby in Wales. It needs to change.

Take note Mr Lewis.


57 thoughts on “WRU Self Interest makes a mockery of Welsh Rugby’s spirit of true partnerhsip

  1. Heisenberg says:

    Excellent article. If only the majority of the Welsh public could understand this. Then again, if our national newspaper doesn’t even report it, then why would they? Wales is a rugby version of North Korea it seems. A disgrace.

      • One slight problem to your asserions that the WRU are the devil incarnate, Jamie Roberts has been offered possibly the biggest deal in Britain – in the words of the head honcho of the Blues, not mine.. Is it the WRU’s fault that one of Wales’ best International players has turned down this offer – from a club that has no money because the WRU aren’t squandering it enough on us, or is it recognition that the Welsh Regions have very little to offer because they have squandered the money offered to them so far and are running themselves into the ground? Or is this a case of another money grabbing International wanting to move to warmer climbs?

      • And one more thing, North Korea – that’s a wonderful comparison Shiv, and I get called a loon, while that one goes un-noticed and complimented with a thank you. And you really expect me to take you seriously? What a girl. Educate me on the vaguaries of Shiv world I would love to inhabit it.

      • smallclone says:

        I think this is done Steve, or Roger as I’m now going to call you. Youve made your point, and youre now just resorting to cheap shots.

  2. Really not sure there is a lot in this. I think there are certain bandwagons that people love to jump on and when this happens the same arguements come trotting out and the opinions of Welsh fandom, that have held the support of the game in Wales back for decades come rushing to the fore.

    It is the Regions who complain of burnout, why should the WRU sanction an extra match that will probably have few supporters attending, and would not actually contribute much to player development? The Regions most definitely can not have their cake and eat it, and they should stop chucking their toys out of the pram when they don’t get their own way, or at least some Regional fans should.

    Were the Ospreys doing this for the old fashioned Corinthian values that were one of the reasons the ols touring matches were staged? Were the Ospreys planning to finance the poverty stricken Fijians? What truly are the benefits of this game? As far as I can see there are none, and that’s an inescapable fact. You don’t get the same effect from midweek tour matches now as you did thirty years ago.

    As for the Autumn Internationals, its tiresome to constantly hear the “its a money making exercise” arguement. Part of the reality of rugby now is that it is proffessional, ergo money is the name of the game. The other part of it is that the AI’s are vital to the elite players of our game. We are actually helping nations like Samoa by playing them – its of a financial benefit and these countries need the experience of playing the big nations more often, especially away. We then get to play the big teams ourselves, something that is also vital to us if we are to develop and reach the top of the game as is our desire.

    I sometimes wonder whether fans realise that we cannot afford to take the same approach to the game now as we did thirty years ago and we must realise that, yes we have regions, but YES, International Rugby pretty much is the be all and end all. Without it, the regions wouldn’t have their accadamies and would struggle to bring on top quality youngsters. Without them, we would not have an International team and without them, our supposedly beloved regions and clubs would go to the wall in a matter of days, not weeks, months or year.

    On a side note – for me this is a non-story, so why should our media report it?

    Regional fans who have a massive downer on the WRU – please take note, your regions have as to take as much blame in this sorry mess if not more than the WRU. To the Regions I would say, get your own houses in order before you dig your heels in.

    • sorry I replied to one of your later posts first.

      A non story? yet the BBC and the rugby paper have both reported it? as has the south Wales evening post?

      The Western Mail and papers based in Cardiff haven’t, and I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s shockingly poor coverage of a Union preventing it’s regions improving themselves.

      The regions are trying to get their houses in order. This initiative by the Ospreys is exactly that, them trying something to get their own house in order and who has blocked it? The WRU. What a great help they are to their region.

  3. “Without it, the regions wouldn’t have their accadamies and would struggle to bring on top quality youngsters. Without them, we would not have an International team and without them, our supposedly beloved regions and clubs would go to the wall in a matter of days, not weeks, months or years.”

    I meant to preface this by saying without the money from the WRU the regions…

  4. Gareth says:

    Hi Steve, just a quick question.

    What exactly do you think the Scarlets and Ospreys need to do to “get their house in order”? How are they poorly run at the moment?


  5. smallclone says:

    What truly are the benefits of this game? Steve asks. A six figure sum in income. Kids watching international rugby in Bridgend. More people subscribing to the Ospreys rugby ethos. Young players playing against international opposition….need I go on. You have no arguments other than this is regional fans bandwaggonning which is rubbish frankly

    • I wonder if you actually listen to yourself Smallclone. The Ospreys struggle to sell a decent gate when their firsts are playing, Do you honestly think they would get a 6 figure gate to watch the accademy play? there is a shocking naivety in all of this and a self righteous dose of verbal diarrhoea to a lot of what Andrew Hoare said. In one breath he’s talking about the 3000 kids who got in free to see the game the article was talking about, the next he was talking about taking the team down on a jolly to Exeter with the proceeds of that massive crowd they were going to get in to see them. We are living in a real world not the world the Ospreys seem to inhabit, or some of our regional fans. And the same goes for a lot of our administrators in the Regional game. I’ve been a rugby fan for thirty years and don’t close my eyes to the things that are going on. Andrew Hoare had an ideal opportunity to make political capital from this incident and he did an excellent job. All of this between the WRU and the Regions is utter nonsense. I won’t deny that the WRU might have been making a point and if they were they were incredibly stupid. But this isn’t some national political incident. The WRU are probably doing the Ospreys a favour, I am pretty sure they would have made a loss on this game not a shed load of money anyway.

  6. Might I began by answering that question by asking another one? Why did you just include the Scarlets and the Ospreys? There are two other Regions as well. I understand the West is best, East is least attitude is still alive and kicking, but if you are saying it goes without saying that the Blues and the Dragons are poorly run, that is part of the attitude that I mention in my response to your post.

    The Dragons have always been the poorest region and have consequently always struggled. The other three regions have been profligate with the money they have received and are only now realising what it means to be proffessional. There is a blindness about many fans that says “my Region is doing fine” when in fact none of our Regions have approached Regionalisation with the right amount of nous.

    The talent pool that has been available to them has not been fully utilised since their inception. The organisations that are running thes clubs have spent their time gagging for a fight with the WRU. You might say they have made their players available to the WRU throughout and the same goes for when these Regins were clubs. I would say you get no marks for doing what is expected of you.

    The Regions have always put themselves first, and have moaned and whined consistently and persistantly about their players being overstretched, when in fact, if it wasn’t for Wales and the effect that set up have had on them, they would be even more in the doldrums than they are now

    The Scarlets, for instance, were pretty much bankrupt from the start and for a long period have relied on the WRU to help them out. They have spent money that they haven’t had. In other sports, clubs have been pilloried, and sanctioned for doing what they have done. In rugby all our Regions have done is take and take.

    The Regions have never fully tapped in to the fan resource they have had available. Can you honestly tell me that the times there were 3 or 4 thousand fans in Stradey for instance is anyone elses fault other than the fault of the Scarlets? I suppose that is the WRU’s fault as well is it?

    It took years for the Scarlets to drop “Llanelli” from their name, the Drags and Blues still haven’t dropped their club name – how will that attract the disenfranchised? It won’t, ever. The majority of the players from all Regions play at 70%-80% for their Regions, and are different animals when they slip on a Welsh shirt. Why aren’t the Regions stamping out this complacency? The Ospreys were the only team to get that right and tried to embody a whole new identity, but the power struggle still exists in that area..

    How much did the Regions truly take account of their feeder clubs? Some of them rarely looked outside the squads they had in existance, when their feeders were crying out for more attention.

    I won’t even go into ticket prices – some might say its okay to charge £20 a ticket, for instance, but how can you justify that when your fans stay away and your team play crap rugby.

    I have just touched the tip of an ice-berg here. I could go on. We must open our eyes Shiv to certain realities. You seem to be speaking as a supporter of a club playing in the 80s in an amateur era, rather than a supporter of a Region in the 2010’s in a proffessional era.

    Yes there have been improvements recently, but only because our game is in crisis and our Regions have realised they have screwed up. You can’t attempt to turn over a new leaf and in a matter of months expect your governing body to forget about the past and say all is forgiven we will do exactly what you want and forget years of mismanagement.

    There is a report due soon on the financial state of Welsh Rugby and it won’t make pretty reading. That isn’t the fault of the WRU that fault lies plainly at the door of the Regions and they need to fight tooth and nail to change that around.

    • Steve – I think you’ve missed the point of my post.
      A region, in this instance the Ospreys, is trying it’s very best to promote rugby in its region – the WRU is blocking it. How can that be right?

      That’s all this article is about, the WRU preventing a region bettering itself.

      I’m not even getting into how the regions were badly managed in the past. The point is they are trying desperately to save domestic rugby in their regions and all the WRU is doing is preventing them. It’s disgusting, and I’m honestly surprised you can’t see that.

      Do you honestly think the “reasons” the WRU have given for blocking the game are viable?

      Also your last point, the regions need to fight tooth and nail to change it around? That’s exactly what they are trying to do, and it’s the WRU that is preventing them. And if they are preventing them for past mistakes then that’s simply a disgrace.

    • Also, just thought I’d add, i’m not massively anti WRU. I actually think there is a lot of good they are doing, but in this instance they are completely out of order. There is a massive problem with domestic rugby in Wales and how the WRU is treating the situation is disgusting.

      I’m amazed more people can’t see it.

      You are even agreeing with me. I’ve said the regions WERE badly mismanaged, there’s no one that can deny that (as Gareth has pointed out, the O’s and Scarlets have gotten themselves in order and I believe the Blues and Drags are taking steps to do so). But my points is for the most part it’s in the past. The regions are now in order and are looking to kick on. They should be encouraged and helped, not hindered due to how they handled things in the past. It’s just makes the WRU appear petty and spiteful to be honest.

      It’s not that long ago that the WRU itself was run very very badly, yet they’ve managed to turn things around and were allowed to do so. Why aren’t the regions being afforded the same?

  7. smallclone says:

    “The Scarlets, for instance, were pretty much bankrupt from the start and for a long period have relied on the WRU to help them out.”

    What are you talking about?

  8. I have regularly been accused of having a chip on my shoulder when it comes to rugby but this is slightly confusing. First of all we have the tiresome South Wales Echo is anti Ospreys thing, I am a regular reader of both the Echo and the WM and don’t see that as an at all viable assertion, but I’m from Cardiff so that assumption is I must be anti Ospreys/Scarlets too.

    Secondly, how is trying to stage a midweek game against a minor touring side an attempt to promote rugby.in the region? As well as this you mentioned yourself that one of the reasons the WRU gave for not allowing this game was player burn-out. This is something the Regions are constantly harping on about, what’s changed now?

    This isn’t some scheme by the Ospreys to further the sport. Its simply another attempt at making money, for the sake of making money and nothing else, something you pillory the WRU for.

    As for trying to save domestic rugby, that is a pretty laughable idea. the Ospreys, as with every other region, are only interested in what’s going on within the four walls of their catchment area. The rose coloured spectacles worn by many fans is a worry. I’ve never seen any evidence of this “philanthropic”approcach. It is in their blood to be selfish, the same way you accuse the WRU of being and that is why we are in the mess we are in at the moment.

  9. smallclone says:

    “how is trying to stage a midweek game against a minor touring side an attempt to promote rugby.in the region?” Just a baffling comment. Steve, you must be on a wind up posting the stuff you’re posting. I call disgruntled Ponty fan…any advances?

  10. Gareth says:

    Thanks for the reply Steve, it is amazing how some people see the same situation completely differently.
    Right, to answer your first question, I mentioned the Scarlets and Ospreys as the problems Cardiff have had are pretty well known and the Dragons are an absolute shambles. Cardiff are sorting it out slowly off the pitch so I can see them getting their house in order. The Scarlets and Ospreys are now well run rugby clubs, they don’t have the resources of some but run a tight ship. The Dragons are something completely different and probably need a debate just for themselves (as they only contribute 2 players to Welsh squads, I’ll leave them out for the moment). It has nothing to do with West is Best, but the fact that the 2 western clubs happen to be in the best shape at the moment.
    To go back to your first post, you mention burnout and why should the WRU sanction this match. I am sure you are aware there is a very big difference between players playing 12 test matches a year on top of the rigours of the professional club game and academy boys doubling up for one week. This isn’t having their cake and eating it, you argument is a straw man.
    I can’t also believe that you can’t see any benefits to this game. Not only giving the academy boys some experience, but also making some money for the region and also reaching out to the people of Bridgened, some of the famous disenfranchised. True, this isn’t Newport v the All Blacks, but it is still a match that would get fans paying their money to come to.
    The autumn internationals are an important part of the calendar and important for numerous reasons. I agree they are part of the game and that they generate money for the WRU, which helps to pay for the game in Wales. All good.
    The money making exercise is the extra match scheduled in December and the one that annoys the vast majority of the regions’ fans. Look at from a different point of view: The Ospreys play Cardiff at home which should be one of their biggest gates of the year and the Scarlets play Ulster at home, which should also be a big gate with the league positions of the two sides. On this weekend the WRU will be using the regions players for their own match and will make a lot of money from it, while the regions will have to either face the league leaders with a second team or play one of their nearest rivals second team with their second team. How can the clubs to get people through the door when Team Wales is set in direct competition to them?
    I would also say international rugby is NOT the all and end all. We have structured the game in Wales into a lovely pyramid filtering up to the national side. Team Wales is the priority and I think everyone realises that and accepts it: international rugby is the pinnacle of the sport. However, without the club game, the international game in Wales will die too and no-one will be happy. International rugby is the pinnacle, but not everything.
    OK, now your reply to Shiv/Me.
    There are a lot of valid points in your argument on why the regions could have been run better. Of course they could have. However, there are a few things I would disagree with.

    When did the WRU bail out the Scarlets region? How have the regions simply taken and taken?
    The regions are like any domestic side in the world, they want to be successful and use their players as well as they can. Compared to almost every country, the Regions have been very co-operative with the WRU, so much so that the WRU probably get the best deal for international players in the rugby world.
    The regions have been propped up by benefactors for years while the WRU have gotten a cheap deal for the players. Things have come to a head now because they aren’t willing to keep on pumping money to keep the domestic game going while the WRU records record profits (well done them for their commercial success) and ignore the level below them.
    One of the Ospreys’ directors has said we are underfunded compared to even Scotland. England pay £102million over 8 years for their players and as the Saxons only play a handful of matches a year and the players in that side are on lower wages, it is clear to see the English clubs get a lot more money for their release to pay for squad cover.
    The WRU hasn’t been paying a fair amount for what they get.
    Most of your answer is all stuff that happened years ago. The regions paid for that by losing the club v country war (if there ever was one) completely and now the WRU is all powerful. That is now the regions lot and they are simply trying to make the best of it.
    The disenfranchsided stuff, if people want to be disenfranchised then there is nothing the regions can really do to stop them. By trying to get 100 people to come in, they’ll drive away 250 people.
    £20 to see professional rugby is not a lot. At all.
    I would love to hear more from this iceberg. Most of the criticism levelled at the regions has been taken on board and addressed by the regions IMO. It is all well and good to say “get your house in order” but the regions are doing that and the WRU still aren’t paying their way fairly.

  11. Ah, there we go, a challenge to your opinion and you descend to insults. And you actually could’nt be further from the truth about my allegiances. I take it you were a 606 regular. Why haven’t you answered the question? I’d be very interested to hear how, in the big scheme of Welsh Rugby, this is an attempt to promote the game. The region should be concentrating on attracting fans to their regular games rather than trying to pull a fast one. I would be very interested if you would educate me. As I said this isn’t the 80’s we are now in.

    • From the article:

      “If anything, it would promote the game further throughout the Ospreys’ region. Supporters would get to see their young players, who often play for their premiership side, compete against an international team. It would garner interest and enthusiasm for the game. It would bring great rugby to a key area of the Ospreys’ region.”

      There you go.

    • Hiya Pete,

      It definitely does, but doesn’t really tell us anything we didn’t know already! We knew the regions were badly managed, we know they’ve looked to cut costs and improve marketing, and we know the regions at least have been trying to work more closely with the WRU. Here’s hoping the WRU do something their end.

  12. Fundamentally, my point is to continually castigate the WRu for their so called misdemeanours is making a serious errot of judgement. What the regions are now doing is a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. If you castigate one you have to castigate the other, and as a longtime fan od Welsh rugby and observer of the political infighting, backstabbing and oneupmanship that has existed in Welsh Rugby from year dot, I will never agree that the WRU is solely to blame.

    • Steve – I have never said the WRU is solely to blame, nor do I think any of the comments on these articles states that either. But in this particular instance and in their handling of it – yes they have to shoulder their portion of the blame. The fact that some outlets of the media in Wales is ignoring it is a damning indication of the state of journalism in this country. It’s disgusting.

    • smallclone says:

      “If you castigate one, you have to castigate the other”. Yet another nonsensical point. Why do you have to do that? The WRU are totally in the wrong in this case.

      • Shiv, the WRU have said no to a non-sensical match in the middle of the AI period which the Ospreys have tried to suggest would be enough of a draw to pay for a period away, for “training”. I say that is utter tosh. I repeat, the firsts have struggled to get more than 5K on times, how the hell will the Accademy players draw enough of a crowd, in an area non-committal about the Ospreys at best following the Warriors debacle, to break even, let alone pay for anything. I’ve ehad enough of saying the same things all the time. This is not “disgusting” or any of the other emotive words you care to throw out about a totally insiginificant episode. Its small fry, something that the Ospreys have made capitol out of and something the press in the capital of Wales have decided not to make an issue out of probably because the are more important events to fill the colums inches with than the whining of an Ospreys coach, just wanting to stir up the waters. And smallclone, if anything is nonsensical its the obsession with how awful the WRU are and the closed eyes of some fans who want to make a mountain range out of an ant hill.

      • How the hell will academy players draw a crowd?

        Last season in the LV fixture v Saints played in Bridgend the crowd was 4,463

        Again last season in the LV Cup v Dragons played in Bridgend there was a crowd of 4,896

        And shock horror these were the academy boys playing.

        Those attendances are more than what the likes of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Connacht, Treviso, Aironi and even sometimes the Dragons get. And these are supporters paying to see academy players.

        I would say given taht in this instance they would have been playing against international opposition you would almost guarantee a crowd over 5K+. Easily.

        So I’m afraid it’s not a ‘nonsensical’ match at all and I would hardly quote those figures as people being from an area that is ‘non’committal’ about the Ospreys.

        It’s all well and good you having enough of repeating yourself, but it wouldn’t hurt if you actually took on board what the article was stating.

        And I am honestly quite staggered at your attitude about the likes of the Western Mail not reporting this. Shocking.

  13. smallclone says:

    I’s a real shame there are people with Steve’s attotude intent on not allowing the domestic game to grow, and only wanting one team and one bank account at the top of the pyramid to flourish.

    • Its a real shame when people allow emotion to be blurred by reality. I most definitely want all four regions to have healthy bank accounts shiv, so don’t go putting words into my mouth, Maybe it You can believe the claptrap that Hore came out with and peddle even more with flowery emotive vocab to give your arguement some gravitas, or you can face reality, Maybe it might possibly perhaps have been a good idea to let some kids play the Fijians in a clapped out old stadium in front of some even younger kids given free entry and a few men and their dogs, and even a few women come to see some nice legs, but it is certainly not a massive issue, like you are making it. Perhaps the WRU should have turned a blind eye, only for the Ospreys to complain after the game because they made loss on the gate, and their attempts to ingratiate the sponsors wasn’t a walk through the gate success. Which would be followed by words along the lines of we will never go that far east again because there is no interest that way. Get a grip on reality for goodness sake. There was no mileage in this game and the WRU have more than likely done the Os a favour. The conspiracy theories are laughable.

      • smallclone says:

        It’s not a conspiracy theory though. It’s a downright “disgrace”, as Robert Davies put it. Why not let them try? All w hear of is that the regions don’t market the game and have failed. And they try an initiative like this only to be told “there was no mileage in it”. But yes, I shall endeavour to “get a grip on reality”.

        They would have got at least 6k.

        And our national media not reporting this only highlights the fact that there is a clear agenda by the Welsh media here, and they feel threatened enough to act in a quite saddening way to protect their stake in their WRU love-in.

        Conspiracy theory, deary, deary me.

      • WRU love in? Its laugh a minute on here. “All we hear is the regions don’t market the game.” All who hears? Aren’t you doing now what you accused me of doing earlier? For what reason did the Western Mail HAVE to report this other than YOU believe it to be a “disgrace”? Simply put, the regions must get to do whatever they want and the WRU must let them do it, chuck more money at these four teams to be chucked down the drain or otherwise they are stifling rugby and bullying and destroying the talent in Wales. That’s what your arguement boils down to.

      • The Western Mail didn’t have to report it, but it speaks volumes that they haven’t even made mention of it when other organisations such as the BBC and The Rugby Paper have.

      • Speaks volumes of what for goodness sake? Oh, I forgot, the Western Mail love the WRU so they wouldn’t report anything malicious about them. Sorry, I forgot. Fair play, I thought these were meant to be serious blogs, this and others on the WRU are turning out to be scaremongering of the highest order.

      • scaremongering? how so?

        The fact a national newspaper doesn’t comment on a national union blocking a game for dubious reasons does speak volumes I’m afraid. The blog sets it out quite plainly as to how dubious the reasons are. If you can’t see that then I’m sorry, I can’t help you further.

      • The level of condecension in that statement is astounding dear. I don’t need help. I am simply asking someone to stop coming out with the same old claptrap that the regions do and actually face reality. I certainly don’t need the help of someone who fancies themsleves as the voice of fandom, when in fact you hold the opinions of someone who isn;t really interested in the future of rugby, just the future of rugby as you want to see it.

    • Shocking, disgusting – did the WRU stop a game of rugby and the WM not report it or have the WRU been dragged into the Jimmy Saville row? How many of those were free tickets Shiv? How many of those were away fans? How many of these fans travelled from Swansea and Neath to watch those games because they were only 15 miles down the road. It seems you like to write and you expect people to take your missives as gospel. The standpoint you start from is skewed completely and you don’t seem to have a grasp of the realities of Welsh rugby, I’m answering your points about making money, about development – yea its decent experience for the youngsters I can’t argue with that – but the rest of it is simply an attempt to have a dig and a fulfillment of desire to fill some blog space with an-anti establishment rant.

      • I don’t have a grasp on reality and yet you’ve brought a Jimmy Savile reference into a rugby discussion?


        You said academy players wouldn’t draw in crowds. I’ve just given you proof that they do, and all you are coming up with are excuses and hyperbole.

        I am well aware of the realities of domestic rugby in Wales, it’s just a shame the WRU don’t seem to be.

  14. Hyperbole on my part? Okay. Excuses on my part? Ok. You throw digits at me that can evidence your arguement, well done. These are legitimate questions. They are decent gates but again I am answering individual arguements that you are throwing at me. As for the Jimmy Saville reference, I am going to an extreme, just as you are by using language such as disgrace and disgusting about things that are neither of those. Definition of Disgusting – Arousing disgust; repugnant. Is the WRU stopping a game either of these? If it is to you, you need to get out more.

    • And there we have it.

      All of your questions that have been answered you have taken offence to, and simply come up with more questions.

      It is quite clear that you only want to see what you want.

      I am in no way naiive enough to think the regions are entirely innocent in all this, but at least I can see that they are the ones who right now are trying to improve the situation for domestic rugby in Wales. It’s a shame you, and others with your attitude, can’t.

      No offence intended mate but the fact that you think the use of the word disgusting is the same level of extreme as using a Jimmy Savile reference when discussing rugby – says it all.

      I’ve answered teh questions you come up with, and you conveniently ignore them. Well done.

      • No you haven’t answere those questions you have given me the usual spiel that certain types of supporters come out with and padded the rest out with pretty language, Its like talking to a politician – you get the “anser” that they want to give, in order that they can toe the party line and spread the propoganda, I’ve ignored nothing, I am simply challenging you pre-conceptions, which you dislike immensely, because someone dares challenge you.

      • I am honestly flabergasted.

        Quite honestly so.

        You’ve raised issues, myself and other respondents on here have answered them. If they have disproven your point you then go on to disregard them.

        How is giving you actual attendance figures to your point that academy players wouldn’t draw in crowds the “usual spiel”.

        I’ve only written two articles regarding the WRU, so I’m not quite sure what “agenda” you think I have.

        I’m calling it as I see it. I understand that people won’t always agree with it, but I’m not quite sure how from two articles you have garnered exactly what my views are on Welsh rugby and what my “agenda” is. You are in fact incredibly far off the mark.

      • So, I am incerdibly off the mark? Both your articles on the WRU have been inflammatory and in total defence of the Regions, as if they have suddenly gone from sinners to saints overnight, Nothing is ever as simple as it seems in Welsh Rugby, –

        “You’ve raised issues, myself and other respondents on here have answered them. If they have disproven your point you then go on to disregard them.” What have you done? Nothing different – you have looked at something, drawn a conclusion and you won’t be shaken on it, but get antsy when someone else is equally as unequivocal.

        I’m sorry, you have not “answered” a single one of my challenges to your argument. You have given me cliches and trotted out the tired old mantras.

      • cliches? tired old mantras? I think I will need evidence of that.

        And my articles on the WRU are as they are because in both instances I firmly the WRU are in the wrong. I even make reference to the regions having been poorly run in this article so I am hardly in total defence of them.

        Not getting antsy either, just truly baffled as to some of your responses.

      • You sound like a spokesperson for the Regions in debate with the WRU and are repeating verbatim the same old dtuff that they do when they get on their high horse. The Regions have been at loggerheads with the WRU since their inception. You are inferring that I am not bothered about the future of the Regions and you are making a mountain out of an anthill, simply because you believe the WRU aren’t interested in the Regions’ future. The WRU are now a proffessional body. They are being run by a scuccesful businessman, from what I can gather, in Mr Lewis, who has transformed the business side of the organisation in a very short time. He has been confronted by barriers at every turn, but he is continuing to try and move Welsh Rugby forward, not at the Regions’ expense in any way at all. Yes the Regions have realised they need to change their ways, but no, just because the Ospreys wanted to jam an extra match into the schedule, when they themselves have consistently complained about burn-out, doesn’t mean that suddenly all is rosy in the garden again and they should be allowed to do what the hell they want. I firmly believe that this game wasn’t financially viable – which is one of the reasons they want this game to go ahead, and you do too. As I said earlier Hore mentioned a previous game where he knew full well his region had allowed a couple of thousand of kids in for free – something the Blues have regularly been pilloried for doing, but he is being a saint and a promoter of Regional Rugby, Yes some of my arguements might have been in the extreme, but so are yours. I am mirroring the techniques you are using to get across your point. Regional success is a long-term thing, not short term and after being existance for a decade, the Regions are finally geting an inkling of what’s required. They aren’t doing things in spite of the Union, the Union, believe it or not, are assisting them. There is no telling what will happen in the future, but the WRU don’t have the money of say the RFU and can’t invest in the clubs they way they do, and won’t until they can be assured that the regions are behaving correctly.

      • I will need examples of the “same old duff” that I am coming out with.

        And I am still awaiting the examples of my use of “clishes” and “tired old mantras”

        Also, just in case you weren’t aware, the regions have been complaining of international player burn out. Not academy players. That is a very big difference.

        I will also need examples of how my arguments in this blog have been “extreme”.

        No one from the regions either have said that everything is ” rosy in the garden again and they should be allowed to do what the hell they want”.

        They acknowledged their problems, some even three or four years ago. They are seeking help. They aren’t getting it.

        And that’s my final reply to you Steve, if you can’t take on what I’m saying then I can’t see the point. I’ve agreed with you that the regions have handled things very badly in the past (as indeed my blog actually states) I’ve acknowledged that the WRU do a lot of good, I just don’t believe they are in this instance and there are plenty of people out there with the same view. That’s all my blog was saying, and I would say if you re-read your responses, the only person who is blowing this out of proportion is yourself.

        Thank you for your comments 🙂

      • No worries S, Its not me who has used language such as disgusting etc. Simply stating in one line that the Regions have done things badly in the past and then in the remaining hundreds you’ve written slagging off the Union, in no way reflects thesituation as it is. Rugby in Wales is not a one way street, things go both ways. Thank you for your comments and your attempts to educate me, I hope you can get over the bitterness that consumes you regarding the evil that is the WRU.

  15. Gareth says:

    It is pointless discussing this with you Steve as you simply fail to take on board points made to you,

    As for this:

    “The WRU are now a proffessional body. They are being run by a scuccesful businessman, from what I can gather, in Mr Lewis, who has transformed the business side of the organisation in a very short time. He has been confronted by barriers at every turn, but he is continuing to try and move Welsh Rugby forward”

    substitute “The regions” for “WRU” and “Mr Lewis” for one of the directors you have exactly what the regions are trying to do, It is a shame the WRU are ones putting up the barriers in this case.

    • I take on board the points made to me Gareth, I choose not to accept them in the same way that you and shiv and clone accept what I am saying, You have made up your mind that the WRU are wrong and your point of view will not be shaken, I am of the opinion, taking history into account and the present situation, where the cancellation of one match is not the end of the world, that the WRU aren;t the obsteperous body that you make them out to be, In which case, if you choose to state that I am within my rights to challenge you and for you to come out with valid arguements to back up your case, not the same old tired arguements that the regions have chucked out since their inception.

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