The Six Nations Committee and the Welsh Rugby Union have today accepted the finality of the decision of Wales & Border Trains concerning the running of trains from Cardiff on February 22nd.
Commenting, John Feehan, Acting Chief Executive of the Six Nations Committee, said, 'We are immensely saddened that this position has been reached, but we have had no alternative other than to accept the unilateral decision of Wales & Borders Trains to cancel train services and thus to strand our fans. Their admission that they are so lacking in enterprise and competence that they are unable to meet this challenge is breathtaking. Thankfully, rugby supporters are made of rather stronger stuff, and we are confident that they will make appropriate alternative arrangements.
'We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain, for his courageous attempts to bring sanity to bear. It is clear that he has left no stone unturned, and he must feel every bit as frustrated as we do.'
David Moffett, Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, added, 'This decision reeks of amour propre, and clearly stems from Mr Gibbs' perceived slight at having not been party to the talks concerning the kick-off time. That he should have attempted to dignify this decision by hiding behind safety, even to the extent of drawing an analogy with the Hillsborough disaster, is disgraceful. It is implicit in his most recent statement that, unless we involve him in future discussions, he will do the same again. It should not be possible for someone to hold responsible bodies like the WRU, the BBC and the Six Nations Committee to ransom in this way, and I trust that all those in authority are taking full account of the damage which this man has done to the credibility and reputation of Wales. This has been a shameful incident.'