Court dates await WRU and regions
July 23, 2009
Will Wales face the All Blacks this November? © Getty Images
Welsh rugby's descent in to turmoil is set to continue with court dates having been set for a showdown between the Welsh Rugby Union and Regional Rugby Wales (RRW), the umbrella organisation representing the four Welsh regions.
The two parties are at loggerheads over Wales' autumn international against the All Blacks on November 7, which falls outside of the IRB's designated Test window. The Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets were not contacted by the WRU before organising the fixture, and court dates on September 9, 10 and 11 are set to decide whether or not the regions will be forced to release their players for the game.
RRW have obtained a High Court agreement that the game cannot take place without the matter being determined in court. The regions are pushing for a full participation agreement between themselves and the WRU, similar to the Elite Player Squad agreement in place between the RFU and Premier Rugby - governors of the Guinness Premiership.
"The WRU agreed a fixture against the All Blacks without our agreement, and then invited us to take them to court if we didn't like it," said RRW chief executive Stuart Gallacher. "That's what we've done. The court date has been set, and we look forward to achieving in court what we have been unable to achieve with the WRU for almost two years - certainty.
"We need a revised participation agreement, and hopefully this court case, as undesirable as it is, may be the spur to finally achieving a proper outcome for Welsh rugby. "We are already trailing behind the likes of England and France, who have put their squabbles behind them and joined forces for the good of the game.
"For whatever reason, the WRU's executive still seems to consider genuine partnership an alien concept, when the rest of the world has embraced it as the gateway to achieving combined and greater success."
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