Scott Quinnell And His Players Pledge Themselves To Wales
17 March 2002 19:47pm
In the wake of the decision by the Welsh players not to make themselves unavailable to face England this weekend, the Chairman of the WRU General Committee, Glanmor Griffiths, issued the following statement:
"I was delighted to hear from Scott Quinnell, the captain of Wales, that he and his fellow National Squad members will be available for selection for the fourth round of the Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship against England at Twickenham next weekend.
"We are now guaranteed to have our first choice teams playing against England at senior, A and Under 21 levels. It means that common sense has prevailed.
"At a special meeting of the Union's general committee tomorrow night (Monday) we will further debate the full blueprint for change, involving reducing the top tier of the professional game in Wales to six clubs as soon as is legally practicable, in order to maintain the momentum that has been built up during extensive meetings over the past week.
"We will also be examining the way forward for a semi-professional league just below the top tier and I have also had lengthy discussions with representatives from Caerphilly, Ebbw Vale and Neath over the weekend to gauge their position.
"In addition, I shall be seeking talks with the clubs from the current First Division in Wales to hear from them what the proposed changes would mean to their hopes and aspirations for the future.
"We are moving in the right direction on all fronts and there is a genuine desire from the WRU to improve and enhance the structure and competitiveness of Welsh rugby at club and international levels.
"What I hope is understood by all parties is the position of the WRU in serving the needs of the national sport of Wales from top to bottom, the international game and the professional clubs right down to the junior sections of clubs in Division 7 of our National League and the schools.
"There is a responsibility on us all to safeguard the future of the game at all levels, as well as ensuring the professional structure becomes more competitive and sustainable ."
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.