Ospreys statement: 'Bullish about the future of rugby in Wales'
Threatened Ospreys have issued a statement in response to reports that they or Dragons are in the firing line if the Welsh Rugby Union endorses the bombshell recommendations contained in the Oakwell Sports Advisory report.
One of the recommendations to help improve the competitiveness of the Welsh clubs at URC and European levels is the reduction of the number of regional teams from four to three for the start of the 2023/24 season, with Ospreys and the Dragons allegedly at the head of the queue for the chop.
They were the two sides apparently named in the £25,000 report as potentially being under the most threat, reopening the festering wounds of recent years when the painfully proposed merging of the Scarlets with the Ospreys was seriously considered as a way forward.
Dragons had their say soon after the report first emerged on Wednesday night, their chairman David Buttress tweeting: “Worrying is a rubbish waste of time, fighting, believing, building, backing ourselves and sticking together is what I will spend my energy on. We have a long way to go together yet.
“Winston said it well: ‘Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force’.”
Now Ospreys have had their say, their club statement reading: “Ospreys have been working closely and collaboratively as a member of the professional rugby board (PRB) to devise a strategy that will ensure sustainability and raise performance across the professional game in Wales.
“As part of this process, the PRB has commissioned research from a number of sources, including Oakwell, to ensure the strategy is informed by deep and independent insight. This research will inform, but not dictate the strategy.
“We remain bullish about the future of rugby in Wales and look forward to further success and Ospreys to remain the most successful Welsh region. In the meantime, we are looking forward to Sunday’s game against the Dragons as we chase the Welsh Shield and encourage our supporters to show their support at the Swansea.com as they did last weekend.”
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