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Celtic League Delayed By No-Name Welsh Clubs

Celtic League Delayed By No-Name Welsh Clubs

“You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. What we need is everybody to be part of the solution.” David Moffett commenting on the row in Wales over names for the new clubs

Although the dates for this year’s Celtic League have been pencilled in, the official launch of the competition cannot take place because the new regional Welsh sides have yet to come to agreement over their names. The one exception is stand alone side Cardiff who from now on will be known as the Cardiff Blues. And it is believed that the second stand alone side, (Llanelli) will be re-named without too much fuss.

However, the situation elsewhere is far from resolved with Moffett clearly losing patience with those reluctant to embrace change.

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” I am going to sort it out. We don’t have any more time. The world is moving on and we have got an ever-widening gap to close.

“We have put plans in place to rebuild and fix Welsh rugby. But there is still a reluctance to embrace the change in some quarters. If anybody wants to put their personal agenda first, then they should get out of the way. We can’t afford that parochial rubbish to go on.|

“I haven’t got time for people that are standing in the way. If they don’t want to be part of it, they should b***** off.” said Moffett.

The people he is referring to presumably are those associated with the Bridgend/Pontypridd, Neath/Swansea and Ebbw Vale/Newport regional sides.

It was thought that Bridgend and Pontypridd had solved it with the name RCT Ravens but Ponty fans were not happy that Bridgend’s nickname had survived the transition, while theirs had not. But it is the Ebbw Vale, Newport marriage that has gotten off to the rockiest of starts.

They’ve been at loggerheads from the word go over a variety of issues, the latest being the rejection of the name Gwent as their married name. Newport’s supporters club have compiled a 10,000 strong petition on the naming issue – they want Newport in the title – which they intend to present to the Welsh Rugby Union.

Neath and Swansea have gone to the country in an effort to finalise their name. The regional Guardian newspaper carries a coupon for fans to put forward their suggestions, with Ospreys and Blackjacks among the suggested titles.

Moffett admits he is concerned over the delays in the naming of the regional sides and has urged clubs to get on with it.

“We can’t put a draw out for the Celtic League because what names do we have?” he said.

“The Scots and the Irish know their names, but we don’t know ours. It’s the same in Europe. We have got five teams in the Heineken Cup and we only know the name of one of them. It’s not fair on the teams they are playing against in their groups.

The competition is due to begin on the weekend of September 6th – the same weekend as the Scotland v Ireland international in Murrayfield – with Leinster at home to defending champions Munster, Michael Bradley’s Connacht at home to Edinburgh and Ulster away to Welsh regional side Neath/Swansea.