4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
In today's Telegraph newspaper Graham Clutton reports that the proposal is that Llanelli and Cardiff retain their current status and that they be joined in a professional set-up by htree merged sides.
Cutton says, This proposal will be further discussed at a meeting of the nine Premier Division teams this morning before representatives meet David Moffett, the Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive, to put forward their definitive plan.
Unless there is a change of heart from any one of the clubs in question, it seems almost certain that Wales will be represented next season by two stand alone sides in Llanelli and Cardiff, plus three merged sides, Pontypridd/Bridgend, Newport/Ebbw Vale and Neath/Swansea.
Having almost accepted that there would be four merged sides next season - a position that had angered Cardiff, Llanelli and Pontypridd - the news will come as a shot in the arm for Moffett, who had feared a major court battle with Llanelli.
On Wednesday, Llanelli issued court proceedings against the governing body on the grounds that a four-team top tier was unlawful - a case that could have cost the union up to #8 million in compensation to its clubs.
Now, it seems almost certain that Moffett will accept the club's proposal with the only issues remaining being those of finance and who of the five play in the Parker Pen Shield.