Celtic Rugby, the organisers of the Magners League, have issued the following statement in regard to the future inclusion of Italian teams in the competition from next season.
"The Board of Celtic Rugby Ltd. are disappointed that it has not proven possible to conclude a satisfactory agreement with the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) that would have seen the addition of two Italian teams into the Magners League in September 2010.
In March 2009 Celtic Rugby agreed in principle to the possible enlargement of the Magners League through the addition of two Italian teams subject to certain conditions being met in terms of commercial, finance, playing standards and playing/spectator facilities.
Celtic Rugby engaged Deloitte to conduct a comprehensive "due diligence" process to satisfy the shareholders and existing Magners League clubs of the feasibility, financial and otherwise of this structural change to the Magners League and in particular to ensure there was no resulting net cost to the existing ten clubs.
Following an extensive process that involved consultations with FIR and its nominated clubs, the existing Magners League participants and Celtic Rugby, Deloitte provided a report to Celtic Rugby in December 2009, clarifying the various parameters that had been met and that would need to be met. Despite extensive discussions between Celtic Rugby and FIR in December and January it has not been possible to reach a satisfactory agreement by the deadline set of end January 2010, clarity being required at this point in order to plan not only the Magners League but also Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup for the 2010/2011 season."
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.