WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis and Chairman David Pickering addressing the delegates
A series of initiatives aimed at strengthening rugby in Wales for the future have been outlined to the Annual General Meeting of the Welsh Rugby Union at the Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot.
Delegates from clubs around Wales were told the progress made over the last year has placed the WRU on a stronger footing to face the challenges ahead.
The meeting was told that WRU plans to make the grassroots game a priority with a funding review aimed at identifying target areas for resource.
The development of rugby in North Wales was also identified as a key area along with an increased focus on rugby in schools across Wales.
Delegates were also told that an alignment of coaching and management of all Welsh international teams is now a work in progress following the appointment of key personnel.
At the heart of the elite game the WRU aims to deliver new, state of the art training facilities for all the national teams representing Wales.
The plans were outlined to the delegates in speeches from WRU President Dennis Gethin, Chairman David Pickering and Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis.
The Financial Director of the WRU Group, Steve Phillips, also delivered a report on the record £50.3m turnover achieved during the last financial year.
Speaking to the meeting, Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said: "We have made significant progress and are now better placed to face the challenges of the future.
"So many people have contributed so much this year to create a platform from which we can build sustainability for the future of Welsh rugby and our Millennium Stadium.
"The positive results contained within this year's report indicate that we have assembled a group of people who possess the capability, attitude and integrity to deliver upon this ambition. I congratulate and thank everyone in the Welsh Rugby Union and the Millennium Stadium for delivering such an outstanding year's results."
He said that on the field the reputation and standing of Welsh rugby has been enhanced around the world with the Grand Slam and Triple Crown successes delivered by Head Coach Warren Gatland's squad placing Wales sixth in the IRB world rankings.
WRU Chairman David Pickering added, "Our National Team's success over the last three years has not been seen since the halcyon days of the 1970s. Our Under 20 team reached the semi-finals of the inaugural Junior World Championship, a tournament we were very proud to host and which has been recognised globally as the most successful international age grade tournament to date. Our Women's side finished second in the Six Nations Championship for the second time in three seasons and will this season aim to qualify for the next Women's Rugby World Cup - England 2010 and our Sevens team has continued to produce encouraging results on the world stage.
"Our game is growing and participation levels in the game are on the up but there is more to be done and grassroots rugby is now a key priority for us going forward.
"Our game is growing and so is our success but we must keep our feet firmly on the ground and keep striving to lead the way with a genuine purpose of improving Welsh rugby."
The AGM decided that there should be automatic promotion and relegation into and from the Premier Division.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.
Geraint John has taken up the new role of WRU elite coach development manager having arrived in Wales last week. WRU TV caught up with him at the WRU rugby department's strategy day at the Millennium Stadium.
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