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
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.
New body created to tackle regional rugby finances
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.
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.
– Roger Lewis, Group Chief Executive, WRU
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.
He may have hung up his boots but Gareth Thomas is showing he is still a fitness fanatic.
In his first fitness DVD, launched today, the former dual rugby code international is joned by some of his celebrity pals including Hollywood star Mickey Rourke and his Celebrity Big Brother Housemates.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of 'Gareth Thomas The Real Celebrity Fitness DVD' will go to the rugby star's charity, which aims to provide young people with access to music and sport.
'Core agreement' reached in Valleys Rugby campaign
An agreement has been reached between the Welsh Rugby Union and campaigners hoping to create a fifth rugby region.
Plans were submitted to the WRU earlier this year for 'Valleys Rugby' in the South Wales Valleys.
Under the proposals it would be part-owned by the community, with the majority of matches played at Sardis Road.
At today's meeting, held at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, a series of objectives were agreed based on a pledge by Valleys Rugby to seek out funding from within the UK and Europe.
I am pleased we have made an important breakthrough in our negotiations with the WRU and have had the opportunity to explain our plans in detail and align our aims. An astonishing 8,500 people have signed up to pledge £100 each in the community funding model we have championed for Valleys Rugby and that proves the depth of enthusiasm which exists for our ideas.
– Owen Smith MP
I applaud the ambition and drive behind Valleys Rugby and the WRU will always seek to support initiatives which have the potential to improve the game in Wales. Owen Smith is now well placed to unlock new monies for rugby in all of Wales and in particular Valleys Rugby. We will support Mr Smith in his endeavours to source new funding for the game.