Tuesday, 17 September, 2019


Scarlets confirm merger with Ospreys is 'off the table'

Scarlets-Ospreys Scarlets confirm merger with Ospreys is 'off the table'
Noah Ferguson | 08 March, 2019, 15:36

But those plans were thrown into huge jeopardy on Tuesday when Ospreys chairman Mike James informed the Professional Game Board (PGB) that they were no longer committed to the merger, before resigning from his position. Obviously, as players, we want what's best for Welsh rugby.

It is a group that comprises representatives from the Welsh Rugby Union, Scarlets, Ospreys, Dragons and Cardiff Blues.

The Scarlets now play in Llanelli while the Ospreys use Swansea City's Liberty Stadium for their home games. I am deeply concerned.

He was speaking at a hastily called news conference as the team announcement was brought forward amid the distraction of reported plans to merge two of Welsh rugby's biggest teams.

Wales last won the Six Nations in 2013, a year after their most recent Grand Slam.

The statement added that James's successor, Rob Davies would try to establish a review of WRU's administration of Project Reset, looking at "the independence of the WRU's role given its conflict of interests, the lack of appropriate transparency and adequate governance in the Project Reset process, as well as inducements by officers of the WRU for the regional side to commit further private funds to the game whilst acting against its interests". Scarlets hooker Owens, the Welsh Rugby Players' Association chairman, revealed his fears in a candid statement.

Warren Gatland was on British and Irish Lions sabbatical, with Rob Howley in caretaker charge, but on Saturday the Kiwi will be looking to maintain his flawless record over the Scots since he took the Wales job in 2007.

- Ospreys players were summoned to crisis talks with their club directors in Swansea where the message to Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and Co was that the region would "fight for their future".

"Firstly, we can confirm the statement issued by the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) on Tuesday afternoon as accurate, as are the comments made by Wales' national coach that the proposed merger was driven by the regions, in consultation with the PRB." a Scarlets statement read.

And the PRB responded by stating a merger between Scarlets and Ospreys was "a central component" of their proposal.

"In the last two games [in Cardiff last year] we haven't really done that and we've lost, so we're not anxious about the prospect of them winning a Grand Slam or us trying to stop them, we're just going to focus on ourselves and getting our game flowing again so we can get our confidence on the front foot again". Heads of terms were agreed and signed by the Ospreys and Scarlets on 1 March on terms we believe our supporters would be happy with.

The upheaval comes as Wales chase a first Six Nations title for six years - victory in their final two games against Scotland and Ireland would also secure a Grand Slam.

'The merger is off the table.

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