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WRU Status Update

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

WRU STATUS UPDATE – 02/12/20

www.wru.co.uk

Wed 2nd December

CEO Comment There is no denying that when Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone announced a package of rescue funding measures over a week ago, he very much recognised the importance of rugby to society in England which left English rugby in a significantly better state than it had been moments before. As you might expect, we have been asked a number of times for public comment on the subject since. This is an invitation we have resisted to date and one which we will continue to resist whilst positive discussions are ongoing with Welsh Government. Suffice to say that we have impressed upon our First Minister the importance of Welsh rugby to our nation and have been explicit about the potentially devastating repercussion a continued shortfall in funding for our game will create. As you would expect me to, I’ve highlighted that rugby in Wales plays a bigger role in Welsh society than it does in England; it is the heartbeat of our communities. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant measures to control it have hit Welsh rugby hard. That is not only measured financially but more importantly on a societal basis where we are social animals within rugby and very much enjoy each other’s company; there are also endless wellbeing concerns including mental health to consider. We have looked to ourselves and done all that we can to ensure the survival of our member clubs and our professional game to date, but we have reached the point where external help is no longer a want, but a requirement. We are looking for parity, on a fair and proportionate basis, with what has been provided to English rugby. Our clubs, our national teams, our regions, our community programmes – are all part of our DNA and all aspects of the game are under enormous stress. Sport is about parity, starting on a level playing field, therefore we don’t believe Welsh rugby should be disadvantaged compared to our near neighbours. We are happy with negotiations so far and we are confident our voice is being heard and that our call for help, on behalf of the whole of Welsh rugby will be heard in earnest. We have endeavoured, in all that we have done during this pandemic, to take responsibility and help shoulder the burden for fighting it wherever possible; whether that be making our collective facilities available to our NHS to local club players delivering food parcels within their communities. We understand and empathise with the challenges faced by Welsh Government, who have many hungry mouths to feed as they guide us all to safety and, hopefully, a return to some semblance of normality once a vaccine arrives. But we have not let this stop us from making the case for Welsh rugby to Welsh Government as we strive to ensure that we are able to count as many clubs out of this pandemic as we were able to boast at the start and that our professional game survives intact in a competitive fashion, ready to rise again once this is all over. Not to act now would be unforgiveable and unthinkable for anyone Welsh. Yours in rugby, Steve Phillips WRU CEO Club funding We have written to member clubs separately to advise in detail the process for, and background to, the conclusion of the Community Game Board (CGB) on the club funding model to be employed for the year ahead In short, clubs will be awarded development funding based on an average of the amounts they received during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. With the emergency funds (excluding Storm Dennis) already allocated since July 2020, the CGB has ensured that no club received less than they did last season. Although exceptional, it was agreed this was in keeping with the desired aim to help all clubs emerge from the pandemic intact. All clubs will shortly receive a letter outlining their specific development grant payments using the model described. Schedule of Payments:

  • Jul 27th PPE grant (already paid)

  • Sep 30th Core Grant (already paid)

  • Oct 30th Emergency Fund (already paid)

  • Nov 30th Core Grant and Emergency Fund

  • Dec 18th Development Grant – 1st payment

  • Dec 31st Emergency Fund

  • Jan 29th Core Grant

  • Feb 26th Development Grant – 2nd payment

  • April 30th Core Grant and 3rd Development Grant payment

Return to rugby We have recently been delighted to sanction the introduction of friendly tag (under 7s and under 8s) and touch rugby matches on a club v club basis for all levels of the game. The WRU issued guidelines for this next phase of the WRU’s Return to Community Rugby plan during a webinar with more than 300 Club Operations Managers, covering areas such as car travel which should be within household bubbles only, and a framework for suggested touch rugby numbers and rules for this period. Matches must be arranged between teams and clubs within the same WRU district, and strict safety and hygiene protocols are still a prerequisite for all training sessions and friendly matches.


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