The Welsh Rugby Union and the four regions have reached full agreement on the establishment of a new Professional Regional Game Board (PRGB) to work together to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of regional rugby in Wales.
The new body replaces the Management Board as set out in the Participation Agreement.
Full terms of reference for the new body have now been agreed by all the stakeholders and it will begin operating immediately.
Agreement on the format and remit of the Professional Regional Game Board were confirmed at its first meeting in the Millennium Stadium on Thursday July 18.
The High Court Judge Sir Wyn Williams was installed as the independent, non-voting chair of the body which consists of five members from the WRU, one from each of the four Regions and one representative from Regional Rugby Wales.
The agreed remit of the Professional Regional Game Board will include:
• Regional player contracts and recruitment policy
• Academy structures and associated player development
• The marketing of Regional rugby
• Collective Regional Revenue opportunities and resource management
• Regional financial planning and best practice
The first full meeting of the body was attended by the following delegates: Peter Thomas, (Chairman Cardiff Blues), Nigel Short (Chairman, Scarlets), Martin Hazell (Chairman, Newport Gwent Dragons), Roger Blyth (Managing Director, Ospreys), Stuart Gallacher (Chief Executive, Regional Rugby Wales), Roger Lewis (WRU Group Chief Executive), David Pickering (WRU Chairman), Steve Phillips (WRU Finance Director), Joe Lydon (WRU Head of Rugby), Rhodri Lewis (WRU Head of Legal Affairs), Julie Paterson (WRU Group Head of Compliance, PRGB Secretary).
The Group Chief Executive of the WRU, Roger Lewis, said: "I am delighted that we have reached agreement on the establishment of the Professional Regional Game Board.
"Our first meeting was very constructive indeed. I am confident it will be an active and meaningful forum through which positive changes can be achieved.
"Our aim is to ensure we use our combined expertise and knowledge to develop the right systems and structures, adopt best practice and identify synergies of mutual benefit.
"The creation of the Professional Regional Game Board is testimony to our determination to work together in the best interests of the Regional game in Wales."
The Chief Executive of Regional Rugby Wales, Stuart Gallacher, said: "This is an encouraging step which builds on the discussions that have taken place alongside the work undertaken by PWC last year.
"All four regions have made significant progress towards establishing a sustainable business platform over the last two years and hope to be able to build on that work with the support of the WRU.
"Our first meeting was certainly constructive , so we look forward to the Board providing a real and tangible contribution to the goal of sustainable and competitive professional rugby in Wales."
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Gemma Rowland has had a 'whirlwind' start to her international career with Wales. Despite losing to France, she is confident Wales Women can bounce back and claim a rare Triple Crown against Ireland on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Wales teams return home for the Irish leg of their Six Nations campaigns in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to Wales attack coach Rob Howley and defence coach Shaun Edwards, as well as flanker Dan Lydiate and full back Leigh Halfpenny. We hear from Wales Women's back rower Sian Williams and Wales U20 forwards coach Chris Horsman and flanker Ollie Griffiths.
Wales look to build on victory in Paris in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton, as well as Wales Women's coach Rhys Edwards. We also hear from Wales U20 duo Dan Jones and Joe Davies, along with Wales U18s.
We look ahead to the French tests in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We look ahead to Wales France with Warren Gatland, Sam Warburton, Scott Baldwin, Rhys Webb and Jonathan Davies. Wales Women are the only team in red still unbeaten in this Six Nations, we speak to captain Rachel Taylor. Wales U20 are looking bounce back from defeat in Scotland, we hear from coach Jason Strange, captain Rory Thornton and front rower Dillon Lewis.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
The Principality Premiership awards and the Wales U20s get ready for the world cup in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from coach of the year, Ebbw Vale's Jason Strange and Wales scrum half Rhys Webb. We also speak to Wales U20s Rory Thornton, Harrison Keddie, Tom Phillips and Geraint Lewis.
The Guinness PRO12 play-off away team hoodoo continues after the Ospreys were robbed of victory at Thomond Park despite crossing the Munster line for what seemed to be a match winning try with the last move of the match.
Pontypridd claim the Principality Premiership title - we speak to captain Dafydd Lockyer and coach Gareth Wyatt on the Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We also hear from losing finalists Ebbw Vale and their coach Jason Strange, while Steve Tandy and Dan Baker look ahead to the Ospreys Guinness Pro12 semi-final in Munster and Wales U20 defence coach Richard Hodges talks about the Junior World Championships.