If the PRGB is dead in the water, then what do the four (RRW?) do next? Sit by and wait for Roger to come up with another dead duck or, at last, actually kick back at the WRU. They must have surely realised that they will never be successful whilst playing second fiddle to the Union’s team and having to baby sit a tier of amatuer clubs beneath them.
Lewis has shown his hand – he wants to control everything in Welsh rugby and has set out his stall to do it. He wants to take over the four professional teams, he wants the WP clubs to be handcuffed to a region two by two and he wants all rugby below that level to be completely amateur with no payments at all for playing.
So which of the 240 or so clubs is happy with that set up? Proud clubs like Pontypridd and Neath become nothing other than farm clubs for Union gerrymandered entities with daft sounding names associated so some collection of Post Codes. Equally proud clubs like Pontypool, Newbridge, Glamorgan Wanderers and Ebbw Vale are pretty much doomed to playing village clubs for the rest of their time, with no prospect of stepping up to the higher levels.
Furthermore, this view of Lewis’ will kill any private finance link to the game at any level. The professional game will be a Union closed shop so who will want to sponsor that or provide additional funding? The independence of the WP clubs dies, so what is their point? They are no longer centres of their community but become play things for Union regions. Their existing WP Participation Agreement is already handcuffing them to that role.
Lewis’ vision for the game in Wales will kill it. It removes everything that is great about Welsh rugby: rivalry, independence and striving to beat those teams around you. It makes it one plastic mass of a supposed pyramid that will remove interest at any kind of level.
Any if the Golden Goose of the national team fails then what is left within this pyramid? Nothing. The interest of the volunteer, private backer and supporter is already waning as they understand that what they are interested in no longer matters, no longer has a role to play other than being a plaything of the next level up. That kind of interest is being removed from the game and it cannot be immediately brought back once Lewis goes.
We have only two hopes: the first that the four professional teams wake up to their issues and seek a future away from Lewis’ control, either through an expanded Anglo-Welsh competition or through the more likely route of working with the junior clubs to force the EGM to rid the WRU of Roger Lewis.