Rugby Union: Clubs close in on a compromise deal
Saturday 29 August 1998
As things stand the clubs intend playing Cardiff and Swansea, who have fallen out with the Welsh Rugby Union, in a series of friendly fixtures. These games will be played on Saturdays when there are scheduled Allied Dunbar Premiership games, so that six of the seven fixtures go ahead and the two remaining clubs each tackle a Welsh dissident.
And after plans for a British league fell through because the WRU felt there were too many logistical problems, it left the Welsh clubs without meaningful matches. The English clubs decided to honour an agreement made earlier this year but Twickenham felt that any cross-border competition on Premiership Saturdays would compromise the English league and asked for the games to be played in midweek.
Now Leicester and Richmond have come up with an idea which would prove to the world that Anglo-Welsh matches would not be granted any significance within the Allied Dunbar Premiership structure. And it is almost certain that when the two sides get together over the next few days to thrash things out, the RFU will go along with the idea.
Leicester's Peter Wheeler, backed up by Richmond's Tony Hallett, has suggested that some English clubs should just play one match against one of the Welsh clubs, and possibly two against the other, but both to be played away. Clubs may even prefer to play a total of three matches against Cardiff or Swansea. But however many they play, the Welsh pair will end up playing a different number of games in any so-called "Alternative Premiership" than their English counterparts. "It sounds like a sensible move and I think the RFU would be sympathetic towards such a compromise," said the RFU president, Peter Trunkfield.
Doug Ash, the chief executive of the English Rugby Partnership, the body responsible for the administration of the Premiership and the interests of the country's top 28 clubs, added: "I think this compromise is something that we will be giving serious thought to."
If the solution is accepted, it still will not solve the RFU's other problem, which is that the WRU is unhappy about any competition taking place no matter when the matches are played and there is a possibility of a complaint being lodged with the International Board thatcould result in England being excluded from next season's World Cup - in Wales.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal team news: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fails late fitness test as Harry Redknapp makes five changes for QPR
Manchester United vs Newcastle match report: Brilliant Wayne Rooney scores twice to fire up United's unlikely title challenge
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester United 3 Newcastle 1: 'I'm playing like Paul Scholes,' says Wayne Rooney
Sports Quiz of the Year 2014: The Questions
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...