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Chairman of RWC Leo Williams
"As far as RWC is concerned there is no need to or any intention to embarrass the WRU."
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Saturday, 8 April, 2000, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
WRU knew about report claim
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Australia win the most successful Rugby World Cup yet
The author of a report into last year's Rugby World Cup said the Welsh Rugby Union had seen see a copy before it was published on the internet.

It comes after the WRU said it was disappointed not to have been given a chance to respond to the report which highlighted some of the problems with last year's rugby showcase.

Criticisms included delays with the stadium, ticketing problems, dirty stadia and malicious leaks to the media.

But the report's author, Chairman of Rugby World Cup Ltd, Leo Williams, was quick to point out the tournament had been a success.

WRU Secretary Dennis Gethin said the union would be issuing a measured response to the report.

But in an exclusive interview with BBC Wales Mr Williams also said copies of the report were given to WRU members last week.

"We tendered the report weeks ago," he said.

Not intended to be critical

"I would imagine the WRU delegates at the IRB were given copies before the meeting which took place a week ago, so Wales would have been in possession of the report."

Mr Williams said the report had been intended to focus on action needed for future tournaments, not to rake over last year's event.

"I don't know that I'd describe anything I wrote as particularly critical," he went on.

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John Eales lifts the cup

"There was some factual information about things we could have done or should have done better, but it was not intended to be critical and I don't think it is.

"As far as RWC is concerned there is no need to or any intention to embarrass the WRU.

"The union did a pretty good job overall. The difficulty was the late completion of the stadium and I don't think that was exact their problem.

"That had a lot of flow on effects there were difficulties regarding ticketing and access.

British disease

"Wales acknowledge they could have done better but that is all history as far as I am concerned.

"I think they can look at it with a great deal of pride, I think they have done well."

Mr Williams blamed the British disease, especially within the media, of focusing on negative aspects instead of looking at the positive.

"They totally ignore what sort of tournament took place - the biggest and most successful rugby tournament of all time."

Meanwhile, the WRU has appointed Peter Herbert as new national conditioning coach.

The Llanelli fitness coach replaces replacing Steve Black, who resigned last month.

He was part of the Welsh management set up when Wales last won the Five Nations Championship in 1994 and has worked with Llanelli for the past 14 years.

He will takes up duties from 1 June until the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

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06 Apr 00 | Wales
Police probe World Cup tickets
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