Former Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton has proposed a solution to the crisis affecting Welsh rugby. In a column for The Times and a series of tweets, Warburton suggested that the formation of three new regions and a stronger Welsh Premiership are necessary to revive Welsh rugby.
The retired rugby player took to Twitter to share his ideas, stating that Welsh rugby needs either adequate funding for the existing regions or the admission that only three professional entities can make Welsh rugby viable. Warburton also suggested that three new teams could be created, specifically North, East and West regions, or unfortunately two regions could be removed/merged.
Warburton added that if three new regions were formed, he would create a 10-team league, a strong semi-pro Premiership and revive historical teams such as Cardiff, Newport, Llanelli, and Swansea, to create a system similar to the New Zealand NPC.
Former teammate and rugby pundit James Hook also agreed with Warburton’s proposals, stating that investing in the Premiership is a “no-brainer” and that the gap between semi-pro and pro is too large. Hook suggested that young players should play at a good standard to bridge the gap and provide a reliable source of players for the regions.
The Welsh Rugby Union is yet to respond to Warburton’s proposals. However, it is hoped that his suggestions can help to revive Welsh rugby, which has been struggling in recent years due to financial difficulties and poor performance on the field.