The Welsh Rugby Union is pleased to announce that, following a meeting in Cardiff today (Thursday), two more of the four Welsh Regions have formally agreed to sign the all important Participation Agreement.
The Participation Agreement establishes the terms of reference and relationship the Regions have with the governing body of the game in Wales and the tournaments in which they play.
The Neath-Swansea Ospreys where the first of the four Regions to sign up to new agreement, which is binding for five years and has a further five year option clause, and today the chief executives of both Cardiff Blues, Robert Norster, and Llanelli Scarlets, Stuart Gallacher, agreed terms.
As a result of the Blues and Scarlets guaranteeing they will sign the agreement on Friday, the WRU has now released funds to each of these Regions. Newport-Gwent Dragons chief executive Andy Marinos attended the meeting today, but the Dragons the only Region yet to agree terms.
Although the WRU holds a fifty per cent stake in the Dragons, its officers have been excluded from discussions on this all important subject in order to ensure autonomy within the Region. However, it has once again been pointed out to the Dragons that stand alone status is not up for discussion.
WRU Group Chief Executive David Moffett and WRU General Manager Steve Lewis have offered to meet with Dragons directors Tony Brown and Martyn Hazell to further discuss their position and remain hopeful of reaching an agreement with the Dragons in the very near future.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.