Welsh rugby bosses issue statement following crunch meeting as plans to axe region appear to be dismissed
Welsh rugby bosses appear to have ruled out the prospect of axing one of the four regions as talks continue over the game's future in Wales.
A crunch meeting was held on Wednesday when a bombshell report into the way forward for the Welsh game, which included a proposal to get rid one of the pro teams, was up for discussion. The WRU-owned Dragons and Ospreys, who do not own their own stadia, were the sides in the firing line.
The Professional Game Board - on which representatives from all four regions and the WRU sit - met to assess the various recommendations in the report compiled by Oakwell, which assessed the 'strategic options' available to improve the sport.
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Since details from the report emerged last week, there had been silence from those running the game in Wales. But the PRB issued a brief statement on Thursday afternoon stressing their commitment for the 'four regions continue to play important roles.' Though the words do not acknowledge the plans to axe a team, they appear to signal the Board's intent for four regions to remain.
The statement read: "The Professional Rugby Board (PRB) met yesterday, Wednesday 11th May, to continue discussions to further develop its strategy for a sustainable and ultimately successful professional game in Wales.
"The PRB is committed to working together to ensure all four regions continue to play important roles in the professional game. We will meet further over the coming weeks to ensure the strategy protects and grows our game and remain committed to communicating further progress to all as soon as appropriate."
The PRB is comprised of Alun Jones (Cardiff Rugby), David Buttress (Dragons), Nick Garcia (Ospreys) and Simon Muderack (Scarlets), WRU CEO Steve Phillips, WRU finance director Tim Moss and two independent members - Malcolm Wall, who is chair, and Marianne Økland.
The ultimate power, however, is with the WRU Board. They would need to rubberstamp any recommendation put forward by the PRB and could choose to go in a different direction of travel.