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
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...