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Welsh fans back British League

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PRO 14    

Welsh fans give possible new British League their seal of approval

After it was reported in The Rugby Paper that a chairman of an English Premiership side has said that there will be a British League in two years’ time, many fans flooded Twitter to give their opinion on this concept. 

After CVC Capital Partners became shareholders in the Premiership over the past year, they are now expected to invest in the PRO14 as well. With a say in both leagues, they may try and forge a new league, which could potentially be an Anglo-Welsh League, a British League with Scotland or a British and Irish League. 

These are only early days in discussing what may happen, but Welsh fans on Twitter are already jumping on board this new concept. Attendance at stadiums among the Welsh regions has dwindled in recent years, as have TV viewing numbers.

The Welsh Rugby Union has struggled to fund the regions in a way that would make them consistently threatening, particularly in the Champions Cup. As a result interest in that level of the game has fallen off.

This was made abundantly apparent earlier this year, with the proposed merger of the Ospreys with the Scarlets to make a more powerful team. That idea was later abandoned. 

The prospect of playing against English teams is a great boon to the Welsh fans, as it would rekindle one of the great rivalries in rugby. 

Not only is the prospect of playing against the likes of Bath, Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester far more accessible for the regions’ supporters than journeys to the likes of Glasgow, Ulster and South Africa, there will be more passion in those games. 

Many fans feel that this will regenerate a fervour among fans that has been missing for years. As a result, more people will watch the matches both on TV and at the grounds. Sponsorship would also likely increase, allowing the teams to consistently improve.

It’s a potential cycle that appears to have Welsh fans very excited. This is what they have said:

The trouble with this possible league is that the English clubs may not be as committed to it as the Welsh clubs will be. Premiership teams are set to benefit far less from joining another league than their rivals across the Severn, and the question will remain as to whether they would be willing to give up what they have. 

Furthermore, the Irish and the Scottish teams in the PRO14, as well as the Italian and South African sides, may have different feelings about the shake-up of the leagues, particularly if a solely Anglo-Welsh one were to be created. 

As this prospect is fleshed out over the coming months, pros and cons will inevitably appear, but for now it looks like the Welsh fans are fully supportive of the mooted change. 

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Welsh fans give possible new British League their seal of approval