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its going to take more than money to keep Roberts at the blues, money spent on an outside center and front row players will benefit the blues more. cardiff blues arent a region they are another cardiff club which is sad because they have the potential for a greater audience if they just expanded out of cardiff
Central contracts have always been ineviatable. Rightly or wrongly, people want the big day out in Cardiff watching Wales. WRU could try and sell regions by offering incentives eg season ticket holders gauranteed Wales tickets. We can only speculate re how much attendances would improve.WRU are happy watching regions collapse. They will then buy them out and genuinely try to sell the product.
PontyCyclops - if you are from where I think you are from, then you are likely to be one of those many fans disenfranchised by regional rugby (I don't expect you have a Blues season ticket, have you?!). Unfortunately it may be too late for the WRU to set things up as they should have in the first place, but maybe they can use their offer of cash to shake things up a bit.
The regions have wasted money on southern hemisphere players past their sell by date. Only recently have they bitten the bullet and brought in younger players who have come up through the premiership.This is paying dividends but will only continue if they can keep these players.Money freed up by any central contracts should not, however, be used by the regions to go back to their old ways.
Agree with Al777 (comment 27). I quick search of the BBC Website will show how many times the regions told the WRU to keep their noses out of the day to day running of the businesses in the past. Loads of people saw this coming years ago. Didn't Dick Best say the regions were castles built on sand?
I will admit im no expert on on welsh rugby but from what i see on the t.v. these welsh clubs play infront of very few fans (even though the national team sell 80'000 tckts every game),so with so little income its easy to see why the clubs cant pay more. So either A-central contracts,B- get more fans going to see club games or C- keep losing your best players to france.
The root cause of this goes back to the formation of the regions. The WRU missed the chance to form proper greographic regions that would command enough support. Situation now is that you have effectively 4 superclubs who simply don't have enough supporters to generate sustainable income and therefore cannot pay their players the going rate.
I think we need to centrally contract our young players - North, Waurburton etc it would be better for the game, and allow regional rugby to become a stronger commercial opportunity. If we know we have the top players playing accross all the regions for the foreseeable future we will have more supporter confidence, and squads that can function at a salary cap and be competitive.
In Ireland we have central contracts for the main players but it doesnt stop other provincial players being selected unlike the elite squad thing in england which i dont think worksthe point is not to give the contract out to just anyone, keep the top 15 to 20 on central contracts and other players will still be involved in training squads and with injuries
That is a good point Scrumpox, as an Englander I was frustrated enough with the Elite Player Squad and only being able to swap a few from it when it was clear that Johnson had selected a 'cautios' team. The head coach has to have the freedom to select his players, and you don't want a 2 tiered sqaud of non and contracted players.
Thank God common sense may prevail, what a pity the Regions are now begging for something they staunchly against for years!
I'm all for WRU contracting our top players but just one risk they have to be mindful of - it would surely pressurise Gatland to select only from the WRU contracted players. The introduction of teenage players to the national team has been a major positive in Gatland's reign.
Wales has two choices. Either use cental contracts or become a feeder nation for French & English clubs with them dictating the terms like English Football clubs did with Welsh Football Internationals IE: Ryan Giggs. It's already started in a way so simple stark choice for the WRU!
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