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Roger Lewis: 'The WRU has retained its dignity'

"Through the past six months, the Welsh Rugby Union has retained its dignity" said WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis.

"We have not been dragged into the gutter to exchange playground insults with others."

"It's been a dark day, instigated by a very very small minority of people, and the reason I emphasise that, hundreds and hundreds of men and women supported the Welsh rugby union today" he said.

"We only had four people against us in that vote of no confidence, and the rest, hundreds, supported the Union, and that is the true reflection of where we are in Wales today."

WRU survives vote of no confidence

It's the first EGM held by the WRU since 2007 Credit: ITV News

The Welsh Rugby Union has seen off a vote of no confidence following an Extraordinary General Meeting in Port Talbot today.

Two resolutions voted on were that the WRU board of directors had not been acting in the best interests of Welsh rugby, while a second had called for a vote of no confidence in the current board.

A total of 39 WRU member clubs and Wales' four professional regions had supported calls for an EGM - the WRU's first since 2007 - with the protest driven by former chief exec David Moffett.

Moffett gained sufficient backing for the meeting to be called, but it ended after almost four hours of debate.

Disaffected clubs had claimed the WRU board of directors weren't overseeing Welsh rugby with the best interests of the game at heart.

The WRU has agreed to hold a ballot of all clubs to reach an agreement on whether a proposed new national league structure of the amateur game will go ahead, or whether the existing structure will be kept for next season.

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Club representatives arrive for Port Talbot EGM

Members from 43 clubs are expected to arrive at today's meeting Credit: ITV News/Mike Griffiths

The Welsh Rugby Union's Extraordinary General Meeting is underway in Port Talbot.

43 clubs including the four professional regions have called for the meeting to discuss concerns over league structure and WRU finances.

Ex-WRU chief David Moffett is seeking election to the governing body.

A no confidence vote at an EGM could force out elected members.

David Moffett arrives Credit: ITV News/Mike Griffiths
  1. Dean Thomas

Morgan: Wales call up 'dream come true'

Bristol bound fly-half Matthew Morgan has described his surprise selection for Wales' tour to South Africa as a 'dream come true'.

Morgan was overjoyed to be selected in Warren Gatland's 32 man squad after an impressive cameo off the bench for the Possible during their defeat at the hands of the Probables at the Liberty Stadium last night.

Gatland was full of praise for the 21 year-old saying he 'came from nowhere' to force his way into the New Zealanders plans. Wales fly out for their two test tour on Thursday.

Wales Squad to South Africa:

Backs:

L Williams, M Morgan, J Williams, G North, A Cuthbert, C Allen, J Roberts, J Davies, S Shingler, J Hook, D Biggar, M Phillips, R Williams, G Davies.

Forwards:

G Jenkins, P James, A Jones, R Jones, S Lee, A Jarvis, K Owens, M Rees, S Baldwin, A-W Jones (Captain), L Charteris, J Ball, I Evans, A Shingler, J Turnbull, D Lydiate, T Faletau, D Baker.

Probable v Possibles teams announced

Rob Howley and Robin McBryde have named their sides for Friday's Probables v Possibles senior trial.

England-based players including Gavin Henson, Paul James and George North miss out, leaving Henson's hopes of a Wales return looking slim.

WRU announces Wales Senior Trial at Liberty Stadium

The match will be played at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on Friday 30 May Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

The Probables versus Possibles Wales rugby trials will return after a 14-year absence this summer, the WRU has announced.

The match will be played at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on Friday 30 May and will be a chance for players to impress ahead of selection for the upcoming tour to South Africa.

Warren Gatland says it will also act as important preparation ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

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Survey: 'international rugby grips the nation'

Survey: '41% of Welsh adults have watched Wales at the Millennium Stadium' Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

The WRU says a survey shows more than half the population of Wales is involved with rugby as a player, supporter or follower of broadcast and newspaper coverage.

It also says 41% of the adult population in Wales have been to the Millennium Stadium to cheer on Wales and 30% (equivalent to 732,000 people) told researchers they would attend a match in the future.

The Union commissioned the eightyone600 survey as a benchmark to help it understand the position rugby has in Wales.

The All Blacks are Wales fans' favourite opponents. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Price is the major factor of influence when it comes to supporters deciding to attend matches, with half saying the cost of attending is their biggest consideration when preparing to buy.

The WRU says the full detail in the survey will be used to steer its strategy to enhance the relationship member clubs and fans in general have with the game in Wales.

New European Rugby - at a glance

THREE TIERS:

Rugby Champions Cup - replaces Heineken Cup. 20 teams: 6 English and French clubs, 7 from Pro 12 including best placed side from Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy. Final place decided by England/France playoff.

Challenge Cup - 20 teams, including 18 from Pro 12, Premiership and Top 14 + 2 other countries.

Qualifying Competition - 12-18 teams from developing nations and Italy

NEW MANAGING BODY:

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). Replaces ERC

EXTRA FUNDING:

An extra £1m a year for Welsh regions

Competition funding split equally between member leagues

SHARED BROADCASTING RIGHTS:

Sky and BT to show joint coverage of European competitions

Rugby stars launch child sex exploitation campaign

The Welsh rugby squad have given their support to an all Wales campaign to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.

The More You Know The More You See’ campaign, which is being run across all four Welsh police force areas featuring Captain Sam Warburton, Rhys Priestland and Mike Phillips.

The films aims to deliver a message that sexual exploitation is child abuse which puts young victims at risk of damage to their physical, emotional and psychological health, and highlights that many young people who are being abused don’t realise that they are at risk and so don’t ask for help.

Detective Superintendent John Hanson of North Wales Police, who led on the campaign, says, “If people know what to look out for they can take steps to help a child. People listen to their sporting icons and we are very grateful to the WRU for agreeing to help us deliver these important messages.”

WRU: Competitions uncertainty 'close to resolution'

The Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive says the uncertainty over competitions for next season is "close to resolution".

Roger Lewis has told ITV News a meeting is to be held tomorrow with colleagues from France, Ireland and England to "thrash out" details of a new European competition.

"Qualification through Europe will be through the Pro12. So the two competitions - the Pro12 and a European Cup competition - looks close to resolution," he added.

The subject has been one element of an ongoing dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four regional teams, with additional concerns over funding and player control.

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