In response to the comments made by the First Minister Mr Rhodri Morgan today, the Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union Mr Glanmor Griffiths has issued the following statement.
"The Welsh Rugby Union has noted the comments made by the First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, and endorsed by the Culture and Sports Minister, Jenny Randerson, regarding their views on the state of our national game.
The first thing to point out is that these concerns have never been formally raised with the WRU before today's rather extraordinary statement, even though the First Minister has been a regular visitor to the Millennium Stadium to watch international matches.
Having now made them public, and offered the opportunity for any interested parties to meet with him and the Culture and Sports Minister for further discussion, I would very much welcome the opportunity to sit down and examine what the National Assembly is prepared to do to help the rugby cause in Wales.
Despite numerous attempts to encourage the First Minster and the Culture and Sports Minister to help us to remedy the financial short falls in the public sector funding received by the Millennium Stadium, we have not made any headway. This has been a huge disappointment to us and is a matter we would wish to discuss further, especially given the sudden interest both Mr Morgan and Ms Randerson are showing in our national game.
To date we have had no help from the National Assembly in trying to convince the Millennium Commission that the Millennium Stadium project should receive the Â£4m shortfall in funding it experienced. The Assembly has been instrumental in ensuring the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay will Â£80m in public funding for their arts project as compared with the Â£46m of Millennium funding we received for our sporting scheme.
Nor have we been given any answers as to why the Millennium Stadium should pay more than Â£1.1m per year in business rates while the proposed Millennium Centre is scheduled to be zero rated - just another example of how the Culture and Sports Ministry treats sport as a second class citizen in Wales.
On a visit to London recently the Sports Minister, Richard Caborn, and the Culture Minister, Kim Howells, gave us a sympathetic hearing regarding future funding for the Millennium Stadium. After all, Â£120m was made available to build a new Wembley. Only today, it was announced that this project will now cost Â£710m as opposed to the Â£140m it cost to build Wales' greatest landmark and marketing asset, the Millennium Stadium.
We would be delighted to sit down and have a proper conversation with the First Minister and the Culture and Sports Minister about our national game. We would also like to know when they will be able to resolve the Â£4m shortfall the Millennium Stadium suffered in building the river walkway for the city of Cardiff.
We would value a meeting with Mr Morgan and Ms Randerson and look forward to hearing from them what the National Assembly is prepared to do to help enhance our national sport".
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Welsh Rugby Union has recently teamed up with Prostate Cymru to help the charity launch its latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Members of the Wales squad helped produce a short video and promotional material for the campaign titled 'The Best Defence - is to know the FACTS'.