Rugby Union Round-up: Cardiff crust trust

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The Independent Online
A SOUTH Wales multi-millionaire who once played hooker for Cardiff RFC wants to put pounds 500,000 into the club and spend two years organising its finances to include a trust fund for players, writes Peter Corrigan. Peter Thomas played for the club in the 1960s and has since amassed a fortune based on the pie firm he founded with his brother Stan, another Cardiff fanatic.

So far his plans have foundered mainly through the complications caused by the rugby club being part of the Cardiff Athletic Club complex. Both Peter Thomas and the club are expected to make statements on the situation later this week. 'I hope we can resolve these difficulties,' Thomas said, 'so that I can play a temporary role in making Cardiff into the sort of club that will give a lead to others.'

A players' trust fund would go ahead only if the rules permit. But there are precedents at international level. The Welsh RFU, for instance, operated a trust fund last season and 21 players who represented their country received up to pounds 2,000 each.

'I've always thought profit was a healthy word,' Thomas said. 'To divert part of what profit the club makes into a trust fund for the benefit of players when they retire is the least we can do to reward their efforts and loyalty and make them better placed to resist the temptations of rugby league.'

LOWLY but much-improved Newcastle Gosforth went down 22-13 in a scrappy game with Leicester, who were far from their fluent best. The Leicester outside-half Jez Harris was the game's outstanding player: he scored 17 points (a conversion, four penalties and a dropped goal), narrowly failing to improve on the 18 he notched up against Wasps last weekend. Tom Willcox, the Newcastle University student, converted Richard Arnold's try and kicked two second-half penalties. Leicester's try-scorer, predictably, was Neil Back.

Bristol were defeated for the second weekend running: this time they succumbed narrowly to Orrell, 16-13. Alastair Saverimutto scored Bristol's try; Orrell replied with a try from Jim Naylor and penalties from Gerry Ainscough and Simon Langford.

SOMETHING had to give at the top of the table in Scotland, and it was Edinburgh Academicals who slipped from the leading group after their 30-3 defeat at the hands of Gala. Melrose, Heriot's FP and Stirling County kept up the pressure: Melrose defeated Hawick 12-10; Heriot's FP disposed of West of Scotland 24-14, and Stirling disposed of Watsonians comfortably, 30-6.

ONLY one match was played in the Heineken Welsh League First Division: Newbridge overcame Aberavon 28-8, with tries from Jamie Churcher, Andrew Green, Andy Griffiths and Steve Reed.

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