Group Chief Executive for the Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis, says one of the main objectives for the new Professional Regional Game Board will be to 'stem the flood' of Welsh players choosing to play outside of Wales.
A Professional Regional Game Board made up of four members of the WRU, four members of the Regions and an Independent Chair has been created in order to achieve 'strong, sustainable and competitive professional rugby at international and Regional level in Wales'.
The first meeting of the PRGB is scheduled to take place later this month and already eight definitive objectives have been highlighted;
- To underpin, support and maximise performance of the national teams
- To improve the overall financial management of the Regions
- To help retain senior Welsh internationals playing in Wales where appropriate
- To develop Welsh international players
- To achieve four Regions which can effectively compete at the top of European rugby within five years
- To support the Principality Premiership
- To ensure the continued support and development of the community game
- To ensure the continued sustainabilityof the Millennium Stadium
Speaking on behalf of the four Regions the Chief Executive of the Scarlets, Mark Davies, said
– Mark Davies, Chief Executive of the Scarlets
For Welsh rugby to be truly successful we must all ensure that the game is healthy and sustainable for the long term at every level of the sport.
The PRGB is the result of a period of genuine, open and constructive dialogue, assisted by the initiative of the PwC review with the WRU and the four Regions committing to deliver on clear and agreed objectives over time, as the first step towards securing a healthy future for the professional game in Wales.
Group Chief Executive for the Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis, has described the formation of a new professional rugby body as a 'landmark moment in the history of Welsh rugby'.
The body is being established by the WRU and the four Welsh Regions to strengthen and develop professional rugby in Wales.
It's been created following an independent review into regional rugby in Wales earlier this year.
The damning report questioned the survival of some of the regions and strongly recommended more collaboration between the Welsh Rugby Union and regions.
– Roger Lewis, Group Chief Executive, WRU
The Professional Regional Game Board will play a significant role in helping regional rugby make real progress in the years ahead.
The PwC report did not make easy reading for anyone involved and the boards and management of the regions should be proud of the way they have confronted some tough realities to reach this point.
A lot of hard work lies ahead, but the PRGB offers us a management structure capable of making the tough but realistic decisions which will benefit the game as a whole. Over the course of the next twelve months we have to build a foundation for the future.
The board will be made up of four members of the WRU, four members of the Regions and an Independent Chair.
The new PRGB board will form a working group, within the umbrella body Regional Rugby Wales, to look specifically at the finances and sustainability of the regions.