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.
Wales Under 20 travel to Newcastle on Friday to face England at Kingston Park. With the likes of Jack Dixon and Ashley Evans returning to the squad, it's arguably the strongest side head coach Byron Hayward has put out in the tournament so far. WRU TV previews the game with Defence Coach Richard Hodges and captain Steffan Hughes.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland gives an exclusive interview to WRU TV after naming his side to face England in the RBS 6 Nations at Twickenham on Sunday. Gatland has recalled British & Irish Lions duo Jonathan Davies and Alun Wyn Jones to his side while Rhys Webb retains his place at scrum half.
Scrum half Rhys Webb and lock Jake Ball both made their first Wales starts in last Friday's win over France at the Millennium Stadium. They talk exclusively to WRU TV's Luke Broadley about their experiences of the day.
Wales Women's Head Coach Rhys Edwards has made three changes to his side to face France at Aberavon on Sunday, where he expects his side to be given a tough time against one of the best teams in the world.