Valleys Rugby set for WRU meeting in bid to become fifth region

Valleys Rugby has taken another step forward with an invitation from the Welsh Rugby Union to present its plans to the Union’s Executive leadership and advisers. After submitting its proposal, which can been seen at, Valleys Rugby has today received initial response from the WRU’s Chief Executive Roger Lewis.

Plans for Valleys Rugby, a new region covering the whole of the South Wales Valleys, was launched at Sardis Road Stadium earlier this month. The business model outlines a new type of structure for a region in Wales, where community ownership and engagement is key to its vision. The ‘People’s Region’ is aiming to generate subscription from 10,000 fans at £100 per person, per annum, alongside commercial sponsorship.

Valleys Rugby is now seeking the support of the WRU to develop its Region, infrastructure and players with the aim of competing in the Rabo Direct league and in Europe in the 2013/14 season. Pontypridd-born Nigel Greenaway, who is partner at Berry Smith Solicitors and behind the campaign, said of the development “We are grateful that the WRU’s Roger Lewis, Steve Phillips and others are taking our proposal seriously, in the manner in which was intended, and look forward to expanding on our vision when we meet in the near future.

“Valleys Rugby has been massively encouraged by the response we have received in the few weeks since we launched, and we remain ever more certain that the Valleys must be represented once more at the top-table of Welsh rugby. The success of Valleys teams, Cross Keys, Glyncoch, Penallta and Pontypridd over the weekend – and the magnificent performances by Ebbw Vale and Newbridge – all bear testament to the strength of Valleys Rugby and the imperative that it takes its rightful place once more in the elite of the Welsh game.”

At a time when Welsh clubs are facing a mass exodus of talent due to the incoming salary cap, is now the right time for a new region to be set up? Give us your thoughts.

10 thoughts on “Valleys Rugby set for WRU meeting in bid to become fifth region

  1. The salary cap in Europe needs to be addressed. It’s hitting both English and Celtic teams hard. The Armitage boys going to France is a massive blow to London Irish. I think that Wales need a 5th team, and Scotland a 3rd. Maybe it was a mistake inviting Italy in to the league? They would be better off playing with France, and we could expand the Celtic league to 14 teams from Wales (5), Ireland (5) and Scotland (4).

  2. I don’t know about Scotland or Wales but all the clubs in Ireland are traditional provinces. A new team would have no support base.

    1. With Wales its more traditional clubs, Ponty, Bridgend, Cardiff, Newport, etc.

      I think it is right to bring in another region. I think that the Valleys has the fan base to be able to do so, and with the salary cap there being quite low it should give them the foundations to build up and become successful.

      I agree with Tims comment also about the need for a Scottish third team. I don’t see how Scotland will become a consistent challenger for 6nations titles or for the world cup knockout stages with two ‘elite’ teams.

  3. A 5th team would also mean the other 4 Welsh teams benefit from one more local derby home game, which tend to pull in much bigger crowds. So if the Valleys have a viable business plan I think it would be a welcome addition.

    The Scots used to have a 3rd team (Borders) that wasn’t viable (SRU couldn’t afford to prop it up anymore).

    The only thing I can think of would be to look at the super rugby format with more intra country games than inter country as a way of cutting travel costs and getting bigger crowds through more derbys. OK a lot easier to do with 5 teams per country, but anything that can make more teams financially sustainable should be considered in my opinion.

  4. Two words – Celtic Warriors?

    It’s not just a case of getting support from local fans, it’s sponsorship from local (and national) companies, cash from investors etc. etc., which is already thinly stretched in rugby – particularly in Wales. The main justification for the wage cap (whether you agree with it or not) is that there is simply not that much money in Welsh rugby.

    To be honest, this just comes across as another crackpot scheme from Ponty fans who can’t bring themselves to support Neath or the Sospans ;o)

    1. Completely agree, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this new team playing in black & white at Sardis road. I (and I am from the valleys myself) do not understand this need to paint ourselves as a seperate area to 8 miles down the road. Valleys rugby has not been abandoned, it is part of the Blues/Dragons/Ospreys regions.

      I’ll concede that Cardiff have not helped by refusing to drop the “Cardiff” from their name but why not put all of the effort into creating a new team, which will be drastically underfunded, into getting Cardiff to turn into a full region? A fan led campaign with massive support (if there really is this massive support in the valleys) should have an effect.

      I used to go to Celtic Warriors games. Apart from 1 HC match the crowd usually consisted of 3 men, a dog, and some away fans. If this valleys team comes to something then it will go the same way once real money is required from the fans.

  5. Q. Is this the right time to introduce a new region?
    A. Yes, If there is sufficient fan support who are prepared to put their hard earned cash into a community team I say go for it. I would aim higher and try to establish a larger % of fan based ownership than is currently being proposed, hopefully that will happen. Vally Fans want to take their games destiny out of the hands of the elites in WRU with sound business and legal minds contributing their valuable time to this cause I believe it will only be a matter of time until this becomes a reality.
    Q. Salaries & Salary Caps
    A. Unfortunately again its a commercial question. let’s face it the french fan market is the biggest in Europe they truly love their game and show it with their wallets. They can support 14-16 top flight teams in their domestic league. The math does work though that wales could support a number of top flight clubs on par with the french and english if the attendance numbers are there. Look at Ireland of their 4 top teams 3 regularly sell out their home games and have a huge traveling fan base. We have to create a product that welsh fans want to go see live again and not watch on telly.

  6. This was news to me! Good luck to them, the more players in the pool the better. However, a model based in £100 from 10000 people I think is at best optimistic. I know it’s based on people rather than attendance but considering Drags only get avg 5k a game and the others not doing too much better, I would say this is slightly over optimistic. They could always do a Scarlets and blag a free stadium from the council and then flog some of the land for housing!!!!

  7. I can’t believe any of you are serious to be honest – Wales can barely sustain 4 regions and even in doing so we are doing it badly.

    Scarlets are probably the shining example amongst the mmire of foreign players we have employed – and this is coming from an avid Blues fan.

    the WRU needs to take a massive step back from the picture and see it for what it is – a mess. A professional game run by amateurs.

    If anything we need to lose a region in order to sustain Welsh development.

    We do not have enough quality in wales to sustain four teams and this is becoming ever more evident with the exodus of all our talents to foreign climes.

    The salary cap is misguiding in some senses, money does not buy success, just look at football as a model or some of the french teams who have opened their check books unsuccessfully.

    If we are really intent on creating a new region then there should be contraints placed on it from the outset –

    Only allowed to pick welsh (qualified) players
    Ability to pick any players from any premiership (or below) in wales to come into or train with their squad
    Increased budget/ or salary cap for the first few seasons
    Agreement with WRU on exemplar status

    Oh and just to throw this in we canned our best region when disbanded the warriors – what a mess that was.

  8. I supported Ebbw Vale as a young lad. I have nothing against Newport other than I would not be forced to put a penny into a club that I have no love for. Ebbw Vale and other valley clubs had the guts ripped out when the whole “soap opera” went regional many years ago.Neath and Llanelli both went to the wall and bailed out by the WRU. Ebbw Vale were penalised for running a tight ship and running the club with sound finances.A fith region in the vallies would supprise alot and put a fear of lost revenue to other regions. It would be an honest region of support of a class of rugby that would possibly upstage the big four. I would definately watch a region based between Ebbw , Pontypool , Abertillery , Tredegar and stretch it asa far as Merthyr. I think that 10000 fan base would buy into it. I certainly would even though I live some 20 miles from Ebbw Vale. Dont underestimate the hidden passion for Valley rugby its not all about the big city or historical where the WRU say rugby should be played……. Come on the Vallies ! Rise and be counted !

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