A new national league structure for Welsh rugby has been confirmed for next season after a ballot of clubs saw a significant majority vote to adopt the new format.
The Board of the Welsh Rugby Union formally approved the new plan for the SWALEC Leagues after reviewing the feedback they had called for after the issue was debated by clubs at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
At the EGM earlier this month a cross section of views had been expressed about the new structure which had originally been approved with the details sent out to clubs in August 2013.
In the ballot 70% of clubs or affiliated organisations responded with votes for or against and 61% of those voted to approve the new league structure.
The progress of the new league format will be monitored throughout season 2014/15 by a WRU working group and reviewed in May 2015.
An Appeals Panel, with an independent and legally qualified chair, is being established and is considering appeals from individual clubs related to their league placings in the new structure.
The new leagues were established after a working party was set up to review the league format following initial feedback from the WRU Club Census of 2012.
The principal issues raised then by clubs were the distances travelled to fulfil fixtures and the related costs.
Contrary views related to the new structure were expressed after the original decision to adopt the new format was communicated to clubs in 2013.
At the recent EGM it was agreed that a ballot should take place and its findings put before the WRU Board before any decision to confirm the adoption of the new league was taken.
The deadline for clubs to contact the Appeals Panel is Friday 4th July 2014.
Ebbw Vale captain Damien Hudd picked up the biggest accolade of the night at the 11th Principality Premiership Awards Evening held at Principality Stadium, after leading his side to the title for the first time.
Wales U20 captain Tom Phillips and performance psychologist Dr Rich Neil explain why spending three days at Monmouth RFC has further strengthened the togetherness of the squad ahead of the #WorldRugbyU20s
Merthyr were officially crowned champions of the SSE SWALEC Championship at Dowlais on Saturday where captain Andy Powell paid tribute to his side who have earned promotion to the Principality Premiership
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips hosted the second meeting of the WRU Youth Board last weekend ahead of the Judgement Day IV regional double-header. Tthe board, made up of 15 under-21-year-olds from around Wales, heard presentations from head of participation Ryan Jones, policy and integrity manager Jeremy Rogers and national women's rugby manager Caroline Spanton, with Pro Rugby Wales CEO Mark Davies also on hand to hear the range of views aired.
Skipper Nathan Huish believes it was pure self belief from his side which saw Bedlinog snatch victory from Penallta in the SSE SWALEC Plate final at Principality Stadium, as WRU TV's Liz Jones discovers.