Five's alive

24.2.2003

Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff

[icWales] CARDIFF today went head-to-head with the Welsh Rugby Union over the planned shake-up of professional rugby in Wales.

The Blue & Blacks insist they still want to stand alone despite pressure to link with rivals Pontypridd under David Moffett's four-region plan.

A staggering 98 per cent of the Union's member clubs backed Moffett's proposals at yesterday's extraordinary general meeting in Port Talbot.

But club heavyweights Cardiff and Llanelli were both set to dig their heels when they met with the WRU chief executive today.

"There is still a five-team solution that makes more sense than the one discussed," said Cardiff chief executive Robert Norster.

"We believe having only four clubs is fundamentally wrong in terms of the best way forward for Wales.

"That belief is not based on self-interest for Cardiff RFC at all.

"The wider interests of Welsh rugby demand that the Rhondda Valley is given a better run for its money than it's getting under the current proposal.

"In our region we would have one team for 46 per cent of the total population of Wales, that is not balanced, it's ridiculous and makes no sense at all.

"Cardiff is one of the great brand names built up over years in Wales, and to pretend that would survive in a semi-professional league, is nonsense."

Yesterday's vote has heightened the risk of a legal battle between the Union and the two clubs, who both threatened litigation if four-provinces are pushed through.

"Sensibly David Moffett has kept the options open to find a way through some very difficult issues," said Norster.

"Obviously legal action is a worst case scenario as we don't want to rush into court. But it is an option and we reserve that right to protect the interests of our shareholders."

 

              

 

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