Welsh rugby needs new revenue streams – Walker

Principality Stadium opened in 1999 when Wales defeated South Africa

Welsh Rugby Union boss Nigel Walker says the sport must discover additional income streams as they give the impression of being to host extra matches at Principality Stadium.

A Premiership fixture between Bristol and Gloucester is being explored on 2 December.

That would grow to be a double-header alongside the Cardiff and Scarlets derby within the United Rugby Championship which is scheduled for a similar day.

A Wales v Barbarians match is also being planned for 4 November.

“Welsh rugby wants to take a look at methods of accelerating revenues with out harming any of the prevailing infrastructure and material of the sport,” mentioned Walker.

“These conversations will probably be held throughout the material of these parameters. We’re eager to lift income as a result of that goes again into Welsh rugby.

“Many sports activities haven’t recovered from Covid as a result of it had affect internationally and throughout each side of our society.

“We have not recovered, and if we hold doing the identical issues we’ll hold getting the identical outcomes. Actually if I discuss Welsh rugby there are some challenges.

“We have got to consider doing issues otherwise. What we aren’t going to do is be reckless, we aren’t going to introduce issues which is able to destroy the material of Welsh rugby however we do want to think about methods of elevating revenues, and doing this otherwise.

“I do not know whether or not you will name it outdoors the field considering however we will probably be seeking to maintain on to issues which have made rugby so necessary to the overwhelming majority of individuals in Wales but in addition seeking to improve and construct on what we’ve got.”

Barbarians coming to Cardiff?

The Wales v Barbarians match has but to be confirmed however is being deliberate for 4 November. It is a week after the World Cup last and on the identical weekend because the third spherical of United Rugby Championship (URC) fixtures, together with a Scarlets and Cardiff Welsh derby which is scheduled for the next day in Llanelli.

Walker insists any Wales and Barbarians potential fixture has been mentioned with the 4 Welsh areas in conferences of the Skilled Rugby Board (PRB), which runs the skilled sport in Wales.

“There is a stability as a result of the Barbarians sport has been within the programme and the areas learn about that,” mentioned Walker.

“Any cash generated from the Barbarians sport goes again into Welsh rugby so individuals have to know that.

“We have got to verify we get the stability proper which is why we have the Skilled Rugby Board (PRB), which is why these discussions round these points are aired and mentioned at size round that desk.

“I sit round that PRB desk as does Malcolm Wall (chairman) however so do all of the areas. I am not blaming the PRB, I am not blaming the areas, I am simply saying that is the choice making course of.”

“We cannot all agree on these items however we’ll have a compromise which implies we get sufficient cash in in order that we will maintain the entire of Welsh rugby.”

Double header?

Nigel Walker has been appointed the WRU executive director of rugby after acting as the interim chief executive since January 2023
Nigel Walker has been appointed the WRU govt director of rugby after performing because the interim chief govt since January 2023

Bristol’s residence sport towards Gloucester has been set for two December, which is at present the identical day Cardiff are as a consequence of host Scarlets on the Arms Park within the United Rugby Championship (URC).

Bristol are eager to stage the sport in Cardiff and there’s now a double-header prospect on the Principality Stadium being explored to host each matches on the identical day on the similar venue.

“There are ongoing conversations, it’s not a finished deal but,” mentioned Walker.

“I’m assured we’ll provide you with an answer that may please most, if not all of people who find themselves concerned with Welsh rugby.”

Walker admits the subsequent couple of seasons will probably be testing for the areas following the monetary cutbacks with budgets being slashed to £4.5m for the 2024-25 marketing campaign. He insists although he desires them to be competing for silverware.

“It has been a part of the WRU’s technique,” mentioned Walker.

“There are going to be a few troublesome years, I’ve mentioned that with the areas, and other people perceive why. We have got to stay inside our means, but in addition acquired to develop the sport.”

Walker says the technique is to attempt to hold the 4 areas buying and selling.

“We had the dialogue off the again of the Oakwell Report which advised we could go down to a few however we could not attain settlement to go down to a few, and it was determined we might keep at 4,” mentioned Walker.

“This stuff are stored always beneath assessment nevertheless it must be round that PRB desk that we got here to a call.

“In the intervening time everyone seems to be dedicated to protecting 4 areas. If during the long run individuals change their minds, in fact that dialogue would happen.”

There have been reviews of a possible merger between Cardiff and Ospreys with Walker stating that would wish PRB approval.

“If Cardiff got here to me and mentioned that, or the Ospreys got here to me and mentioned they needed to merge with Cardiff, we might have these conversations,” mentioned Walker.

“However they would not be instigated by me. If they are saying they need the dialog in fact we might discuss to them.

“Cardiff is an enormous area, an enormous membership with an enormous fame. The WRU, as you possibly can think about, is protecting an in depth eye on Cardiff and having conversations with Cardiff.

“However the area is a non-public entity, we work carefully with that area, and we’re having the conversations you’d count on us to have.”

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Printed : 2023-07-20 14:00:28

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