The BBC are emphasising First Minister Carwyn Jones’ offer to mediate between the WRU and the Regions in their ongoing bitter dispute over the future of our professional game.
However, the real story of today’s debate in the Senedd is that opposition AMs were united in a call for a thorough, independent review of the governance of the WRU. That piece of information, which should make very uncomfortable reading for WRU CEO Roger Lewis, is buried in the BBC piece, several paragraphs down.
Unlike the First Minister who only turned up for the last five minutes, I was in the Senedd to listen to all of today’s debate. I was horrified by the lack of knowledge of the basic issues displayed by most of the Assembly members who spoke. However, one AM had clearly done her homework.
Bethan Jenkins of Plaid Cymru had taken the time to speak to all the parties involved: the WRU, the regions and the supporters. She had clearly done her research and returned to her theme of governance several times during the debate.
The rest of the speakers spent most of their allocated slots either reminiscing about watching rugby, or expressing their heartfelt – albeit bleeding obvious – hope that the WRU and RRW could come to an agreement for the benefit of Welsh rugby as a whole. Blah blah blah. Other AMs, on the whole, contributed the sum total of nothing to the debate.
Mike Hedges (Labour) rambled through a confused rant against the regions, citing recent match results as reason to look at an alternative. What Hedges and his ilk fail to recognise is that the regions have been very successful in the Celtic League and Anglo-Welsh cup. Their contribution to the last eight years of unprecedented success of the national side should be obvious to anyone who understands how professional sport works.
What is most worrying is that we allow our elected representatives to debate important issues like this without many of them appearing to have done any research whatsoever.