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Welsh Rugby Union Proposes New Celtic Fixture List
6 June 2005, 7:22 am
Yesterday the Welsh Rugby Union responded to the furore over their part in the collapse of the Celtic League with detailed plans for a schedule that allows them compete in an Anglo-Welsh Cup.
A statement issued by the Welsh Rugby Union, Wednesday, proposed a fixture list for the Celtic League that would run in conjunction with an Anglo-Welsh Cup competition.

WRU chairman David Pickering said, "We firmly believe this proposal for a Celtic League fixture list services the needs and desires of all the players, coaches, fans, sponsors, administrators and broadcasters within Wales, Ireland and Scotland. It delivers a highly competitive and attractive league tournament that would be an improvement on last year's Celtic League because it would be the sole means of qualification to the Heineken Cup for all parties.

"It is obvious to us that our proposed Celtic League structure is a far superior competition to any alternative that has been mooted and we ask those involved to consider its benefits in business and rugby terms. We have the full support of our regions on what we are aiming to achieve.

"We wish to place on record our firm long term commitment to the Celtic League and we are trying to be conciliatory in our attitude towards our Celtic League partners."

Comments from the Welsh Regions:

Peter Thomas (Blues), "We believe the proposed fixture list can accommodate the aims of our Celtic League partners along with the desires of the fans, players and broadcasters. We support our Union position."

Stuart Gallagher (Scarlets), "We are prepared to commit to the Celtic League for the long-term - we believe the Celtic League fixture list is exciting and challenging. We support the position taken by our Union."

Martin Hazell (Dragons), "We believe the WRU is doing the right thing. We back them 100%."

Mike Cuddy (Ospreys), "We are working as one with the WRU over the Celtic League issue."

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