WRU plan for northern development team

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The Independent Online

The Welsh rugby Union have announced plans to expand their talent pool with new development side in north Wales

Welsh rugby chiefs are to press ahead with plans to create a development team in north Wales.

The side, to be called Gogledd Cymru, could play in the semi-professional Welsh Premiership.

The Welsh Rugby Union have set up a working party looking at ways of best establishing the team within two years.

Fixtures might be drawn up against development teams being formulated by Wales' four professional regions - the Ospreys, Llanelli Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons.

The working party will also consider funding of the new side, and the administrative and coaching structure required to deliver its success.

Gogledd Cymru could play their first game during the 2010-11 season.

WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis said: "We are committed to developing rugby in north Wales to a level which ensures every one of our young players has a clearly defined and simple route on to the pathway to the top.

"The recognition of north Wales as a development region and the establishment of this working party, are major steps forward in our focus on the north.

"North Wales already boasts some 3,000 active rugby players, which makes it strategically important for the development and sustainability of our national game.

"Wales is a small nation, and (national coach) Warren Gatland needs every single potential international player to be recognised, nurtured and fully developed