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Sunday, 26 January, 2003, 18:06 GMT
Ponty fans plan province protest
Pontypridd fans protest against plans for a provincial structure
Ponty fans feel the club's existence is under threat
Pontypridd supporters are planning to hold a mass demonstration outside the offices of the Welsh Rugby Union to protest against the proposed new provincial structure.

The picket will take place on 23 February - the day the union's 239 member clubs decide whether to accept the proposal for a new professional set-up.

The WRU has recommended that four franchises should represent Wales in European and Celtic competition.

But Pontypridd fans fear such a set-up will condem their club to oblivion and cause the death of rugby in the south Wales valleys.

Everybody rapes the valleys and it's about time someone put something back there

Pontypridd coach Lynn Howells
The supporters club committee will hold an emergency meeting to discuss how best to voice their opposition to the possible changes.

Possible courses of action include:

  • Setting up a fund to help Pontypridd RFC with any legal fees required to peruse a case against the WRU in the courts
  • Writing to every member club to outline the consequences of a provincial structure
  • Contacting fans from other clubs with a view to holding a mass demonstration outside the WRU offices on Sunday, 23 February
  • Publishing an on-line petition

    Club coach Lynn Howells is concerned about the future of rugby in the area.

    "Everybody rapes the valleys and it's about time someone put something back there," he told BBC Wales.


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