Monday, 14 January 2013

Probably not the finest regions in the World.

All Welsh regions have failed to qualify for the quarter final  of the Heineken cup and with has seen them knocked out before the qualifying stage is complete.

Injury and the loss of senior players to clubs outside Wales have played their part . But the fact remains the regions have failed to shine in the completion since their formation,

There have been calls for Central Contacts on the lines of the Irish regions ad this certainly would help. Though some argue this has somehow inversely damaged the National side. 

But the main problem is still a lack of identification with the Regions and in some cases like Pontypridd darn right hostility.

The WRU, The Regions, and representative of the other clubs in Wales need to come together  and work out what is best for Rugby and the future of the players under our structure.

The relationship between the regions and other clubs need to be improved and it may be an idea that representatives of the premiership clubs are invited to join the management of the Regions.

We can't go on this there may be some who would like to see the regions collapse but ever since the end of the amateur game the old club structure was unlikely to generate the income to support a team  hat could win  the Heineken cup.(Yes Cardiff were runners up in 1996 the first year of the trophy. But since then none.

Just look at the figures

1995–96 FranceToulouse21–18daggerCardiff WalesCardiff Arms ParkCardiff21,800
1996–97 FranceBrive28–9Leicester Tigers EnglandCardiff Arms ParkCardiff41,664
1997–98 EnglandBath19–18Brive FranceParc LescureBordeaux36,500
1998–99Ireland IrelandUlster21–6Colomiers FranceLansdowne RoadDublin49,000
1999–2000 EnglandNorthampton Saints9–8MunsterIreland IrelandTwickenhamLondon68,441
2000–01 EnglandLeicester Tigers34–30Stade Français FranceParc des PrincesParis44,000
2001–02 EnglandLeicester Tigers15–9MunsterIreland IrelandMillennium StadiumCardiff74,600
2002–03 FranceToulouse22–17Perpignan FranceLansdowne RoadDublin28,600
2003–04 EnglandLondon Wasps27–20Toulouse FranceTwickenhamLondon73,057
2004–05 FranceToulouse18–12daggerStade Français FranceMurrayfieldEdinburgh51,326
2005–06Ireland IrelandMunster23–19Biarritz FranceMillennium StadiumCardiff74,534
2006–07 EnglandLondon Wasps25–9Leicester Tigers EnglandTwickenhamLondon81,076
2007–08Ireland IrelandMunster16–13Toulouse FranceMillennium StadiumCardiff74,500
2008–09Ireland IrelandLeinster19–16Leicester Tigers EnglandMurrayfieldEdinburgh66,523
2009–10 FranceToulouse21–19Biarritz FranceStade de FranceSaint-Denis78,962
2010–11Ireland IrelandLeinster33–22Northampton Saints EnglandMillennium StadiumCardiff72,456
2011–12Ireland IrelandLeinster42–14UlsterIreland IrelandTwickenhamLondon81,774

We can't go on like this and we need an urgent response . With only one Welsh representative in the final of Probably the major Rugby club competition in the World (as Heineken would say) compared with Ireland's  8 its a disgrace.

Lets be serious we can't just put this down to our current injury problems and the exodus of players we need to have a plan which will see at least two of our regions playing an Heineken final within 5 years.

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