Following the ERC board meeting last week when five Welsh teams were accepted to take part in ERC tournaments in the 2003/04 season, the Board met again in Dublin last night (8th April) to resolve the situation regarding Welsh participation in the Heineken Cup and PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP.
There was unanimous support from the Board of ERC for Welsh rugby as it goes through a transition period. The Board agreed that all five teams established under the restructuring of Welsh Professional rugby would play in the 2003/2004 Heineken Cup tournament. However, from the season 2004/2005, Wales will be represented by four teams in the Heineken Cup and one in the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP. This is to comply with the wishes of the Board that all Shareholder countries are represented in the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP.
ERC Chief Executive, Derek McGrath stated, 'As the Board has resolved participation for the 2003/04 Heineken Cup, we can now begin the process of incorporating the impact of these decisions to the Long Form Agreement between the parties. In addition, the Board can now commence work on the format of the PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP taking into account that there will be no Welsh participation in next year's tournaments.'
The Welsh Rugby Union has awarded a unique 'President's Cap' to a specific group of players who represented their country between 1945 and 1979, but missed out on international recognition at the time.
Prabhat Mathema, the WRU's National Medical Manager explains the four part Pitchside Suspected Concussion Assessment process the IRB has devised that is being implemented throughout the Dove Men Series and in the LV= Cup this season, which includes the provision for a five minute temporary substitution to allow an assessment to take place.