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.
WRU International Skills Coach Jason Strange is a busy man, combining the new role with that of Wales Under 20 attack coach, Ebbw Vale head coach and continuing to teach at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference