Last week, the WRU Board of Directors voted to end the involvement of clubs from North Wales in the National League system outside their own area from season 2006/2007. Only two of the 18 WRU member clubs in the north, Llangefni and Ruthin, are currently involved in divisions that involve them in matches outside of their region.
The decision by the WRU Board means that as from 2006/2007 they will return to play in a restructured North Wales league system which will feed into a North Wales Regional XV. This team will play in the new, five team regional tournament that will start in November, 2005.
The purpose of the new regional tournament, which will also be contested by teams selected from Divisions 1-5 in the Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets regions, is to provide a stepping stone into the new Wales Amateur XV that the Board have also created.
"At present, the decision of the WRU Board is binding and all the clubs in North Wales will play within their region from the 2006/2007 season," explained Lewis. "While this move lies within the agreed policy of the Union's strategic plan, and is likely to be adopted in other parts of Wales in the future, it was obvious it was bound to cause concern.
"That's why we sent out Community Rugby Manager Phil John to meet with the North Wales clubs this week. He took soundings from them and, after useful debate, was able to come up with a plan that meets with the approval of the clubs.
"Phil and I will now fashion that plan to present to the WRU Board at their next meeting with a view to creating a pathway for clubs in North Wales to reach the Welsh Premiership in the future."
The idea is for the winners of the newly structured North Wales Division 1 to join the winners of Divisions 1 East and West, along with the bottom team in the Premiership, in a play-off for a place in the semi-professional league the following season.
"This will give the North Wales clubs the chance to pit themselves against the best amateur clubs in the rest of the country and potentially climb into the highest division," said Lewis. "They will be able to assess their strength on the field and measure their facilities off it, as they will also need to meet strict criteria to enter the Welsh Premiership should they be successful in the play-offs.
"They seem happy to take their chance and I will be recommending to the Board that they give them that opportunity."
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.