North Wales rugby set for revolution

Reporter:

Gavin Grosvenor

NORTH Wales rugby is set for a revamp at the end of the season.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has proposed structural changes after the current format failed to impress clubs with a host of fixtures being unfulfilled.

Proposals  have been met favourably by clubs with final decision to be made at the end of the season.

The new structure will see a 12 club first division fed by a 12 club second tier with a 10 club third division also comprising of four reserve sides from North Wales.

The final composition of each league will be verified by the WRU community sub board on May 16.

A WRU spokesperson said:  After having meetings with clubs, and listening to their concerns, we came up with a couple of proposals for the clubs to consider, both of which included some second teams.

“We recognised the problems clubs were facing in division three, especially with regard to lack of fixtures and took the decision to include the top four second teams which will ensure a good number of fixtures and competitive games.”

The 12 club first division is set to comprise of the league’s existing members with the addition of second division champions Llangefni and runners-up Dolgellau.

Meanwhile the 12 club second division will include COBRA upon their relegation from the first division with Llanidloes also guaranteed a place in the second tier.

Newtown and Machynlleth would also be elevated to the second tier courtesy of their top two finish in this season’s North Wales Division Three East, joining Rhyl and Bangor in making the step up from the western conference.

The third division would comprise of the remaining clubs in both the regional third divisions, including Welshpool, along with the two top finishers from both the Gwynedd League and North East Counties League.

Llanidloes coach Adam Gaca backed the new proposed structure.

Gaca said: “Llanidloes are broadly positive about the new league structure set in place for next season.

“As the most southerly team in the northern region our thoughts have always been to limit the amount of travel and have a competitive, Mid Wales focused structure.

“With the teams that look likely to be in division two next season that seems like it will be the case with not too many three hour plus bus journeys to away games, no games that look unwinnable and no obviously easy games either.

“We're already planning a tough preseason schedule which will benefit the boys in this league next season.”

See full story in the County Times

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