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Wales
Welsh board hopeful regions will commit
ESPN Staff
December 12, 2013

Welsh rugby administrators are still hopeful their regional club sides will commit their future to the RaboDirect PRO12 even though talks on Wednesday ended without any agreement.

The board met with representatives from the Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons at Swansea's Liberty Stadium and remain confident they can convince the four regions not to force a breakaway to join the Aviva Premiership.

The continued uncertainty around the future of the Heineken Cup or a top-level European rugby competition of any kind has led to the Welsh regions looking seriously at an Anglo-Welsh league for next season. English club governing body Premiership Rugby are exploring the idea of that cross-border league to fill the void left by their potential European rugby exile next season.

A press release issued by the board spoke of it "working hard in the best interests of Welsh rugby as a whole" while refusing to make any more detailed comment other than to say it remained confident an agreement would be reached by the New Year. However, Cardiff Blues chairman Peter Thomas was more forthcoming.

"We have to continue our dialogue and we have to continue talking," he said. "We continue to try and take it forward in the best interests of Welsh rugby. The mood [of the meeting] was good and everybody was acting in a very responsible manner.

"We are very mindful of the difficulties we are all facing - from a player, a sustainable business and a competition point of view. We try as a responsible body to try and find a solution and we will continue to do that."

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