Positive discussions about a potential new Anglo Welsh rugby competition to replace the current EDF Energy Cup have taken place between senior representatives of the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union.
They agreed in principle to seek approval from participating clubs for a new cup structure which would involve teams from the Guinness Premiership in England and the four Regions of Wales along with the Welsh Premiership and the English Division One which is being renamed the Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union asked the RFU to submit more detail of the proposals which can then be discussed in Wales with the four Regions and representatives of the Welsh Premier Division.
The proposals were discussed in Cardiff at the weekend by the RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron and Management Board Chairman Martyn Thomas along with the WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, and the WRU Chairman David Pickering.
Agreement in principle was reached to seek support from the PRL in England and the Regions and the Premiership organisation in Wales to advance the proposals and consider any other new ideas for a competition structure.
The WRU Group Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, said:"Cross border competition between teams from England and Wales is vital to sustain, develop and generate new support for rugby union in both countries.
"The EDF Energy Cup has been a great success and a new competition would serve to build on the support which we know exists for these games.
"Our players, in particular, benefit from this level of competition and the supporters get to experience meaningful encounters with the real jeopardy that exists within a top class cup tournament.
"I have alerted the four Welsh Regions and the Welsh Premiership clubs to this new opportunity and we look forward to discussing it further with them."
WRU Chairman, David Pickering, added:"With the backing of both unions we now hope the clubs and their representatives will help us deliver a product which will be beneficial to us all.
"The RFU have been extremely supportive of the concept of a new competition and we must now build on our joint will to reach a positive conclusion to these discussions."
The meeting at which the proposals were discussed took place at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff over the weekend of the Wales versus England international.
The semi-finals and final of the EDF Energy Cup will take place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry and Twickenham on March 28 and April 18 respectively.
For further information contact John Williams, Communications, Welsh Rugby Union, firstname.lastname@example.org. M 07824 357083
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.