Gloucester's Nigel Davies slams 'ludicrous civil war' in Welsh rugby

Gloucester coach Nigel Davies
Gloucester coach Nigel Davies

Nigel Davies says Welsh rugby's "ludicrous civil war" must stop before it heads to the courts.

The Gloucester coach, who used to coach the Scarlets, fears the ongoing dispute between the Welsh Rugby Union and the four Welsh regions will end up in an expensive legal battle.

The WRU and the regions are locked in a row over funding, the exodus of Welsh players and an Anglo-Welsh league.

"It is ludicrous, this is civil war," said Davies.

"There are people who can actually stop this happening. We need to act and to react because this is wrong."

The WRU and the regions - Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons - have been embroiled in a bitter battle and have failed to reach any agreement in recent months.

The governing body set a deadline of 31 December to sign a new participation agreement, replacing the current five-year deal that expires in June 2014.

But the New Year's Eve deadline passed with the regions not signing the new deal, claiming it was inadequate for their needs.

Meanwhile, the impasse between the WRU and its four teams could see the regions playing in an Anglo-Welsh competition next season, while players continue to leave Wales for England and France.

Davies says if the row does end up in court, then all parties would have failed the national game.

"I sincerely hope not, I really do," said Davies. "Even at this point, we have failed. The people in charge of this have failed.

"If it goes to the courts, well we have got no chance."

Davies, who worked for the WRU as Head of Development, has sympathy for the regions' plight and says it would be "madness" to break away from their national governing body.

"I don't think they want to split away from the Welsh Rugby Union, it would be crazy and madness to do that," said Davies.

"I think it has to be done within the realms of the WRU.

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"The regions have gone away and they have found their own deal. Whether the Union ratifies that... I don't think so.

"There is a new proposal and we have to wait and see what that beings, but I don't hold out much hope for that."

The regions want the WRU's blessing to play in an Anglo-Welsh league, but the governing body has said it will not sanction the move.

Davies believes an Anglo-Welsh league would be beneficial to the English clubs and the Welsh regions.

"I think it would be great for the Welsh regions, I think it would be great for the English clubs too," said Davies.

"What you would have is support and what has been great watching the games in Wales over the festive period is that there is real interest in the game.

"The crowds have been there and partly because you have an away support; the rest of the time you don't have an away support.

"That would certainly be the case if the Welsh came into the English system.

"I am concerned about the Irish and the Scottish, we need to consider them, but one of the alternatives is to include them."

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