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."
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
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.