It reads as follows:
The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) is surprised and disappointed that The Rugby Paper chose to publish allegations that it had conspired with the Scarlets to 'kill off' and 'destroy' the Ospreys, on the front page of its 30 December 2012 edition ('WRU 'were in talks to kill off the Ospreys')
Before the publication of the article, the WRU informed the newspaper's correspondent, Peter Jackson, that the claims were totally false and the WRU regarded publication of the unsubstantiated allegations as defamatory. The WRU informed the newspaper that suggestions that the WRU had colluded with one Region to destroy a successful Region which supplies a substantial number of Welsh squad players and establish a new and untried Region elsewhere, was untrue and bizarre.
It is important to emphasise that neither before nor since the publication of these allegations has the WRU received any complaint or approach from the Ospreys about the so-called claims.
The WRU has no desire to stifle or suppress legitimate debate regarding Rugby Union in Wales. Given the fact that Rugby Union is the national sport of Wales, the WRU expects media criticism and the WRU appreciates that there is a right for people to hold and express their own differing opinions. However, this cannot extend to making or publishing false, incorrect and damaging allegations and the WRU should not be subjected to or forced to deny damaging claims it knows to be incorrect when the media organisations involved cannot provide evidence in support.
The WRU has contacted the Scarlets and they have informed the WRU that they are unaware of any evidence to support the claims and were not involved in any discussions with the WRU regarding the demise of the Ospreys or the taking of any players from the Ospreys. In addition, ERC has confirmed to the WRU that there have been no discussions or contact between the WRU and ERC regarding the Ospreys not participating in the Heineken Cup.
David Emery, The Rugby Paper's editor in chief, said: "We are happy to give the WRU their right of reply to set the record straight.. We published in good faith the allegations of Ospreys' investor Rob Davies that his club were under threat from the WRU. We accept the WRU's assertion that this is not the case and regret suggesting otherwise and the damage caused to the WRU by the publication of the article."