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BBC Wales's Hefina Rendle
"There have been some very interesting findings"
 real 28k

Thursday, 2 December, 1999, 10:52 GMT
Roman remains on rugby site
Amphitheatre This site is the only Roman amphitheatre in Wales

Archaeologists have confirmed that the remains of a Roman settlement have been found at the proposed site of a planned Welsh rugby centre of excellence.

The site is close to Caerleon in south east Wales which was a major Roman garrison town from 75 AD until the third century AD.

It is also the site of the only Roman amphitheatre in Wales.

The Welsh Rugby Union wants to use the site for a centre of excellence for rugby.

Mike German Mike German wants the planning application put on hold
The Assembly Member for South Wales East Mike German is now calling for the WRU's planning application to be put on hold arguing that the find could be one of the most significant discoveries of Roman Britain this century.

In November, Cadw, the ancient monuments body for Wales, was called in to assess the possible Roman remains.

Residents living near the proposed rugby centre site said a major discovery would scupper plans by the WRU to develop the land.

roman road Caerleon was once a major Roman garrison town
The archaeological dig is on the banks of the River Usk and residents say the remains of what look like a Roman road and house are clearly visible.

The landowners, the Celtic Manor Resort, said it was too soon to speculate on what has been found

But Steve Howell, Celtic Manor manager said: "We are confidence that we have sufficient options to go ahead to develop the site."

Another obstacle to the WRU

This is the latest obstacle to hit the plans for the rugby centre.

The Sportlot Lottery organisation withdrew its support in July for the scheme.

The Lottery body had earlier agreed to earmark 1.7m to build the centre on land owned by Welsh billionaire Terry Matthews.

It pulled out because the WRU failed to get planning permission by the agreed date
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See also:
19 Nov 99 |  Wales
Roman remains may halt rugby centre plan
01 Jul 99 |  UK
Centre of excellence's bitter blow

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