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 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 11:41 GMT
Neath backing provincial plans
Gareth Llewellyn in action for Neath
Neath remain in favour of provincial rugby
The Neath board has re-affirmed its support for four provincial teams for next season as Tuesday's meeting between the Welsh Premier clubs broke up without resolution.

The All Blacks' move casts fresh doubt on the chances of the clubs being able to present a five-team 'superclub' proposal to set alongside WRU Group Chief Executive David Moffett's provincial plan.

Ultimately the decision on how Neath's vote will be cast will rest with the WRU board of directors, but in the meantime Welsh All Blacks Chief Executive Mike Cuddy will be representing the club's view.

Their opinion is that Wales have only the players and the money for four teams, and they believe that other premier clubs - including Bridgend - share that view.

The clubs will meet again on Thursday morning.

On Monday, Bridgend owner Leighton Samuel seemed to waver in his alliance with Neath as he agreed to a proposed merger with Pontypridd.

Moffett - who met the clubs briefly on Tuesday morning and will see them again on Thursday - has stressed that the clock is ticking.

He hopes to appear before the WRU board on Thursday with a club proposal to put alongside his own provincial plans.

They will then have to decide which option to take to the Union's EGM on 23 February.

Only that body has the power to authorise the proposed changes to the Welsh game.


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