WRU Status Update: ‘We will pick up where we left off’ – Welsh Rugby Union

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CEO COMMENT 
We’re excited to have the ability to announce plans for the primary WRU-organised neighborhood rugby competitions since all rugby was suspended resulting from COVID-19 in March 2020. There may be far more element beneath, however I want to take this chance to sincerely thank membership members up and down the nation whose voluntary efforts make Welsh rugby tick and with out whom our golf equipment and groups wouldn’t be able to return on this manner.
 
Matches can be performed below modified guidelines, however 15-a-side knock-out competitors is again in August and there are detailed plans for Sevens and 10-a-side rugby as early as June with pleasant matches to be scheduled in July. Additional bulletins about youth, (junior tbc) and 2nd XV Leagues are additionally set to observe in the end.
 
As you’ll anticipate, our Principality Stadium workers have made superior contingency plans for the return of crowds. If we’re given the go forward as early as this summer season, in a well timed method, we need to guarantee we can be ready to handle and adapt safely and rapidly to as soon as once more welcome followers again to Cardiff. 
 
We’ve got been vastly inspired by the sight of followers returning to stadia, specifically at Twickenham final weekend, and the prospect of the British & Irish Lions fixture in Edinburgh internet hosting 16,500 supporters. 
 
We’re advancing our contingency plans to assist us put together for the second when circumstances enable for followers to return.  Already we’re on sale with tickets for our spectacular Autumn Worldwide Sequence and we’ve got acknowledged that we’re hopeful of 4 sell-out matches towards New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia.
 
In fact, we now even have three summer season Checks, with Argentina (twice) and Canada each visiting Cardiff in July and we’re hopeful that crowds could possibly return in some type for these matches too. 
 
No matter capability is allowed by any change in circumstance – and time allowing – we can be delighted to welcome supporters again to Principality Stadium on the earliest alternative.  However I want to repeat a notice of warning: we’ll solely do that if and when Welsh Authorities inform us it’s protected to take action.  We’ve got no want so as to add any stress to this necessary and tough resolution.  As at all times all through this pandemic our strategy is to behave pretty much as good residents, to assist Welsh Authorities the place we are able to, to be a part of the answer to the present disaster wherever doable and pose no additional demand or stresses on the state of affairs.
 
Below my tenure as WRU CEO we gained’t be making an attempt to sort things that aren’t damaged – there’s a lot about our present technique and strategy that I like – however we’ll totally assessment, recondition and revitalise Welsh rugby the place crucial.
 
The central pillar of our goal has been ‘extra folks, extra typically and with extra enjoyment’ and this assertion will stay. Our core values – Integrity, Excellence, Success, Braveness. Household and Humour – may even stay and we’ll proceed to check and measure ourselves towards them in earnest.
 
To this finish we introduced final week a mid-term assessment of the ladies’s rugby efficiency technique, with extra data out there on this beneath. A concentrate on the efficiency finish of the ladies’s sport stays a key precedence. With that in thoughts, we’re within the midst of a collection of inner workers conferences the place I’m sharing some concepts with our workers as to the way in which ahead and reflecting on the suggestions acquired in an effort to align the entire organisation.
 
As our sport emerges from lockdown we need to proceed to encourage as many female and male gamers as doable of all ages and skills to return to having fun with their rugby. We, after all, additionally need our supporters again and we need to facilitate success for our 4 skilled areas and for Wales.  I’m assured that every of those goals and ambitions are achievable and impressed by the unwavering ardour and assist for Welsh rugby all through the nation. 
 
I do know our neighborhood rugby workers have been visiting rugby golf equipment round Wales, assembly with membership volunteers and have been buoyed by their enthusiasm to return to rugby throughout all ranges of the sport. Anecdotally, it seems that in lots of instances, participant numbers are not less than on the identical stage as previous to the pandemic, if not higher. As restrictions ease, all of us sit up for seeing matches performed once more, however we urge everybody to return to the sport safely and inside the values of the sport.
 
We’ll choose again up the place we left off, we’ve got skilled this unprecedented disaster collectively and we’ve got not been overwhelmed, we’ve got been made stronger.
 
Yours in rugby,
Steve Phillips
WRU CEO

2. Competitions are again
 
Plans have been revealed for the primary WRU-organised neighborhood rugby competitions since all rugby was suspended resulting from COVID-19 in March 2020.
The primary senior, 15-a-side competitions for female and male senior gamers, performed below modified Legal guidelines to cut back contact within the scrum and maul (CLICK HERE FOR FULL LAW MODIFICATIONS), are set to run from August to December, as per the WRU’s Pathway to Participation printed in March.
The competitions will every take the type of Pool rounds based mostly round native geography adopted by an open knock-out part.
Within the male sport there can be an Indigo Group Premiership Cup and Championship Cup together with a Plate, Bowl and Defend for Nationwide League golf equipment whereas within the feminine sport, WRU Nationwide Senior Feminine Golf equipment will compete in a North Wales Cup, South Wales Cup and South Wales Plate alongside the identical traces.
OTHER KEY POINTS:
– The 15-a-side competitions will kick off from August 7 for senior male competitions following six weeks of membership v membership sevens and 10-a-side rugby starting on June 14 and following two weeks when golf equipment may select to play 15-a-side pleasant matches below the agreed modified legal guidelines (from Saturday July 24). The feminine Cup competitions will kick off in September.
– District-level competitions can be sanctioned for golf equipment as soon as knocked out of the nationwide competitions
– The youth age band for subsequent season (from Saturday 24 July) is Below 18 on August 31 2021 in an effort to align with Welsh Authorities technique. The detailed construction of Youth competitions, 2nd XV competitions and extra Feminine competitions can be communicated in the end.
– Help for coaches can be out there on the WRU Gamelocker
– Gamers and assist workers will proceed to be required to finish the COVID symptom checker on the Gamelocker forward of each match and coaching session and observe all Welsh Authorities tips on all areas reminiscent of services, spectators and social distancing.

WRU Chair Rob Butcher stated, “We’re thrilled to have the ability to announce these plans as we transfer additional in direction of returning to the complete sport safely. On behalf of the WRU Neighborhood Board, and WRU Board, we felt that the construction of those competitions, and the modified Legal guidelines will present a framework for participation within the grassroots sport. As we sit up for matches at this stage, it’s necessary that Welsh Authorities tips and our rugby values stay on the coronary heart of all the things we do.”
WRU Neighborhood Director Geraint John stated, “We need to encourage as many female and male gamers as doable of all ages and skills to return to having fun with the sport of rugby and we consider the format of those 15-a-side competitions, together with the forthcoming 7 and 10-a-side aggressive block, will assist obtain that, whereas progressing in direction of League rugby.  
“We’ve got all missed aggressive rugby and together with teaching assist, the modified Legal guidelines for all codecs minimise shut contact initially and assist us to work in direction of full contact rugby safely.”

Operations Director Julie Paterson stated:
“We’re indebted to our volunteers, workers and companions for the massive quantity of labor put in to get services and groups to this stage. This competitors construction aligns to Welsh Authorities technique of minimising journey in the course of the preliminary part the place there’s an emphasis on enjoyment and native derbies. “We’ll proceed to work carefully with Membership Operations Managers to make sure they’ve all of the assist wanted over the approaching months.”

  1. Girls’s efficiency mid-term assessment

 
The Welsh Rugby Union has commissioned a mid-term assessment of the ladies’s efficiency rugby technique in Wales.
The assessment, which can be led by three impartial panellists, all with in-depth experience of their fields, will depart no stone unturned to supply suggestions as to how the efficiency ladies’s programme might be improved in a normal sense and in an effort to positively impression Wales Girls’s potential to compete at subsequent yr’s Rugby World Cup.
The panel is comprised of Helen Phillips, Chair of Commonwealth Video games Wales, Amanda Bennett, former Wales Girls vice-captain and Sport Wales Board Member and former Wales coach Kevin Bowring.
The assessment begins with fast impact, a part of which can embody a survey and session with a spread of stakeholder teams, together with gamers previous and current, coaches, WRU workers and board members to discover the diploma to which the present Girls’s Rugby Technique is being successfully carried out, to higher perceive the elements that could be hindering progress and what enhancements might be made.
The assessment is predicted to be full by late June after which suggestions can be made to the WRU Board.
Extra data right here: https://www.wru.wales/2021/05/womens-performance-mid-term-review/
 
 

  1. A primary take a look at the WRU’s new Parkgate Lodge

 
Cardiff’s newest and most luxurious vacation spot, The Parkgate Lodge, will launch in model with superb alternatives to remain near the motion when the may of the southern hemisphere go to Wales for this yr’s Autumn Nations Sequence.
Operated on behalf of the Welsh Rugby Union, The Parkgate is situated only a drop kick from Principality Stadium and can open in time for the massive autumn clashes with New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia.
New computer-generated photos launched to mark the launch of the lodge model present how the event will breathe new life into two of Cardiff’s most historic landmarks – the previous Put up Workplace and County Courtroom properties on Westgate Road.
The lodge contains 170 visitor bedrooms and suites, a signature restaurant and bar, a sublime tea lounge, and an expensive rooftop spa overlooking the skyline of the Welsh capital. It’ll present alluring areas to fulfill and drink, dine and calm down, in addition to the town centre’s most interesting place to remain.
Photos and extra data right here: https://www.wru.wales/2021/04/the-parkgate-hotel-coming-soon/
 

  1. Stadium excursions resume

 
Stadium excursions formally resume this Saturday with a brand new Champions Lap of Honour tour that takes guests on the primary full lap across the pitch with an unique {photograph} alternative with the the Guinness Six Nations Trophy and Triple Crowd.  Guests on the tour would be the first members of the general public to enter the stadium in 14 months following the postponement of Wales v Scotland on the Six Nations event final yr: https://www.principalitystadium.wales/2021/05/18/principality-stadium-tours-are-back/
Followers booked on to the tour this weekend (twenty ninth/thirtieth) may even be fortunate sufficient to be the primary members of the general public to glimpse the brand new look, WRU branded turfed tunnel which can be debuted on the Canada sport on third July.
Champions Lap of Honour excursions are promoting rapidly and might be booked through the stadium web site:
https://www.principalitystadium.wales/excursions/principality-stadium-tour/

  1. Pivac congratulates Wales administration on Lions name

 

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has congratulated members of his administration group who’ve been chosen to tour with the British & Irish Lions this summer season. 
A variety of Wales’ backroom group have been appointed to Lions position and Pivac believes it’s a nice alternative for them and for Wales. 
“I want to totally congratulate all these from our administration group who’ve been appointed to Lions roles this summer season,” stated Pivac. 
“It’s a nice honour and alternative for them personally, however I additionally see it as a possibility for Wales and our nationwide squad. 
“It supplies these going with new experiences, new challenges and they’re going to come again into the Wales set-up with much more information and expertise and that may be a good factor for us. 
“It additionally permits a variety of our administration to step-up internally into roles and permits us to herald extra workers from throughout the WRU pathway so as to add to the surroundings and so as to add to their expertise, which is helpful all spherical.” 
Heads of departments Paul Stridgeon (Bodily Efficiency), Prav Mathema (Medical), Rhodri Bown (Evaluation) and Luke Broadley (Communications), who’ve all beforehand toured with the Lions, will once more be a part of the 2021 backroom group. 
Huw Bennett (S&C), Dr Geoff Davies (Physician), John Miles (Physiotherapist), Hanlie Fouche (Tender Tissue Therapist), Marc Kinnaird (Analyst) and Andre Moore (Chef) have all been appointed and can tour with the squad to South Africa. 
The Wales squad will hyperlink up subsequent month to arrange for his or her three summer season assessments towards Canada and Argentina in what is a vital marketing campaign with Rugby World Cup 2023 in thoughts. 
“We’re wanting ahead to this summer season, the chance it presents,” stated Pivac. 
“We’ve got at all times earmarked this summer season as an necessary improvement alternative for us. 
“It is a chance to deliver gamers into this surroundings, take a look at them carefully and expose them to check match rugby.  It’s also a possibility for present internationals to step-up into additional management roles, so on each counts it is a vital camp for us waiting for RWC2023.” 

  1. Rugby information:

 
WALK AND TALK WITH WELSHPOOL
A mid Wales membership has made psychological well being a key precedence as we ease again to clubhouses and pitches.
Welshpool has launched a collection of initiatives led by membership volunteers together with native charities {and professional} providers to supply membership members and the broader neighborhood with assist and somebody to speak to as and after they want it. In partnership with native psychological well being charity Ponthafren Affiliation, the membership has arrange a Strolling Rugby group – ‘Stroll & Discuss Rugby’ – beginning subsequent week which can be open to the entire neighborhood, and the clubhouse may even now open two evenings per week particularly to permit members and younger folks to pop in in the event that they really feel they should chat to somebody.
Extra: https://neighborhood.wru.wales/2021/05/13/welshpool-mental-health-initiatives-could-have-huge-impact/
 
 
LLANTWIT FARDRE SETTING AN EXAMPLE AS A CLUB FOR ALL
Household and neighborhood are the overriding forces behind Llantwit Fardre Rugby Membership and that inclusive ethos helps the membership to develop yr on yr.
There may be now actually one thing for everybody on the village membership which can be host to the newly-named Rhinos Feminine Hub. Together with the Rhinos’ feminine groups which run from U7s by means of to senior feminine rugby, the membership additionally runs combined groups from enjoyable classes for U5s and U6s to U12s and male groups from U13s to youth and two senior sides.
They’ve so many numbers of their senior ladies’s, Pink Rhinos, part that they now intend to run a second feminine XV and to introduce an U17 male facet to bridge the hole to youth rugby.
The membership began an inclusive Strolling Rugby group final yr and Contact Rugby begins subsequent week. With no altering rooms of their very own, they’ve begun to safe funding for a purpose-built and environmentally-friendly social house for the entire neighborhood with altering rooms for all.
Extra: https://neighborhood.wru.wales/article/llantwit-fadre-going-from-strength-to-strength-thanks-to-inclusive-ethos/
 
COMMUNITY PAYBACK TEAM PITCH IN
5 South Wales golf equipment have engaged in a pilot scheme with Wales Probation Providers which can have mutual advantages for each the golf equipment and the Probation’s Neighborhood Payback group.
As golf equipment proceed to welcome gamers again to their grounds, WRU Pitch Prepared will see people from Wales Probation Providers’ Neighborhood Payback work alongside the native golf equipment to assist get the grounds ‘match-ready’, finishing up duties reminiscent of important upkeep, pitch-marking and restore work.
The Principality Stadium’s pitch group have already supplied experience on all issues referring to pitch upkeep to the golf equipment and the Neighborhood Payback group supervisors in an effort to ‘hit the bottom operating’ when the scheme begins subsequent week.
Extra: https://neighborhood.wru.wales/2021/05/05/community-payback-team-helping-to-get-clubs-pitch-ready/
 
 
JONES’ CANUCKS STEP UP
When Canada arrive in Wales on the finish of June, it will likely be a homecoming for head coach Kingsley Jones.
Being answerable for males’s efficiency, Jones’s remit is extensive. Canada is the second largest nation on this planet by space, and a part of his position entails aligning a few of its big provinces, like rivals British Columbia and Ontario.
A brand new period of Main League Rugby may herald a reversal of fortunes for a nation that carved its title in rugby’s consciousness with rambunctious shows on the ’91 and ’95 World Cups.
The league is trialling a number of new legal guidelines, together with water breaks on 20 minutes, no conversions for tries below the posts, and a strict single-reset restrict on scrums – all of which former Wales flanker Jones favours.
Jones believes the competitors has the potential to alter the sport on a worldwide foundation inside the decade.
However Canada haven’t performed a match since their World Cup loss to eventual winners South Africa in Kobe, October 2019. They had been resulting from play Namibia of their remaining pool match, earlier than Storm Hagibis brought about an evacuation order which robbed each side of a valuable shot at victory within the event.
Their most up-to-date coaching camp got here in November, concerned solely home gamers, but when the pandemic has supplied him with any crumbs of consolation, it’s that Canada will now be enjoying Take a look at matches in Principality Stadium and Twickenham on consecutive weekends this July.
https://www.wru.wales/article/kingsley-steering-canada-into-new-era/
 
 
SIX NATIONS FREE TO AIR
The Six Nations is about to stay on free-to-air tv after affirmation the event has entered into unique discussions with each BBC and ITV over broadcasting rights.
These discussions concentrate on all three arms of the Six Nations; the senior males’s competitors, the ladies’s event, and the lads’s Below-20’s.
The Six Nations has been broadcast by each BBC and ITV since 2016.
A brand new settlement over a four-year partnership time period is about to start out in 2022 and finish after the 2025 Championships.
Extra: https://www.wru.wales/2021/05/six-nations-championships-set-to-remain-on-free-to-air-television/
 
U20 SIX NATIONS DATES
The 2021 Below 20 Six Nations Championship can be performed this summer season between nineteenth June and thirteenth July at Cardiff Arms Park.
The choice to carry the Championship in a single venue was taken to cut back the chance round journey, to make sure higher relaxation durations and structured coaching and due to this fact meet most of the efficiency alternatives misplaced in latest instances.
Matchday squads will encompass 26 gamers as a result of condensed format of the competitors and all 5 matchdays will characteristic three matches performed consecutively.
Each match can be broadcast in Six Nations territories both on terrestrial TV, broadcaster streaming platforms or through Six Nations digital channels.
Scotland and Eire will get the Championship underway on nineteenth June, adopted by England v France and Wales v Italy on the identical day.
Extra: https://www.wru.wales/2021/05/under-20-six-nations-championship-dates-announced/
 
FARMER THOMAS BACK IN SCARLET
After greater than two years out of the sport by means of critical accidents, it’s heartening to see Steff Thomas again with a vengeance at Scarlets.
The 24-year-old prop’s path to the Scarlets senior squad started with the native rugby membership, earlier than shifting to the Quins youth facet. “Wealthy Kelly was Quins’ head coach on the time, and he helped me rather a lot,” says Thomas. “I’ve received good reminiscences with the membership, and I’d return and play for them tomorrow in the event that they needed me to.”
Thomas admits that the expertise of representing Wales at U18 and U20 stage was a major one – in some ways.
“Rising up, I didn’t suppose there was a lot hope for a younger lad like me from Newcastle Emlyn. Not solely to symbolize my nation, however to see new nations like Georgia and South Africa.
“I wouldn’t have been to half the locations I’ve been to if not for rugby. With Wales U18, we went out to Cape City for a fortnight. A tremendous journey. I don’t suppose I’ll expertise something like that once more.”
Extra right here https://www.wru.wales/article/farmer-steff-loving-his-scarlets-return/
 
WAINWRIGHT SET FOR BIG FINISH
Aaron Wainwright is planning a robust end to the Guinness PRO14’s Rainbow Cup marketing campaign forward of what he hopes can be choice with Wales this summer season.
Dragons back-row Wainwright, who has 29 caps for Wales on the age of simply 23, captained his area in a 42-26 defeat by the Ospreys at Rodney Parade on Sunday.
Wainwright’s Dragons have two remaining Rainbow Cup video games towards Glasgow Warriors and Leinster to return earlier than the season concludes.
Then comes three summer season video games with Wales internet hosting Canada and Argentina twice in Cardiff in July – matches Wainwright plans on being concerned in if his type warrants choice.
“To try to get chosen is unquestionably the objective for me,” stated Wainwright on his Wales hopes.
Extra right here: https://www.wru.wales/2021/05/wainwright-targets-big-finish-to-season/
 
MEYER’S MISSION
You may by no means accuse huge kicking Carl Meyer of being risk-averse. As a younger man he left his native South Africa with a dream to play skilled rugby.
Pitching up at Ebbw Vale on the opposite facet of the world wouldn’t instantly spring to thoughts as the obvious alternative to realize that feat however that’s precisely what he did anyway in 2013.
Ebbw Vale coach Jason Unusual had touched base with the bold Sharks Academy product and 9 years later, talking from his base in New Orleans the place he’s now enjoying for NOLA Gold in Main League Rugby (MLR), he nonetheless recollects the pilgrimage with fondness.
“With Ebbw Vale I felt at house and it had a household really feel over there,” he says, earlier than including, “I received over there on a six month sports activities visa. Jason Unusual noticed a few of my clips and received involved and he needed to deliver me over to see if I used to be a superb match. From the second I touched down I had folks messaging me asking me if I wanted something, simply reaching out and I felt at house immediately.’
Extra right here: https://neighborhood.wru.wales/article/missionary-meyer-spreads-gospel-of-mlr/
 
WRU PODCAST
We go to Llantwit Fardre RFC to listen to about the entire vary of rugby being performed there. We additionally speak to 2 Welsh referees heading off to the Olympics, Adam Jones and Craig Evans. 
Pay attention right here: https://www.wru.wales/audio/welsh-rugby-union-podcast-20-2021/ 

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