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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 19:46 GMT
Warriors spurn Sardis
Bridgend owner Leighton Samuel
The Celtic Warriors regional side have decided to play all their future games at Bridgend's Brewery Field.

The regional side, formed in the summer from the partnership of the Pontypridd and Bridgend clubs, say that poor facilities at Ponty's Sardis Road ground have led to the decision.

Financial problems at Pontypridd saw Bridgend owner Leighton Samuel buying out their regional stake last month and he said he was keen to develop the regional ethos of the Warriors, but he was thwarted in an attempt to buy Sardis Road.

A statement on the Warriors website reads: "Following consultation with coaching staff, players and management a decision has been made to play all Warrior games out of the Brewery Field.

This is primarily a commercial business decision
Celtic Warriors statement
"With regard to the Edinburgh game on 28 November, it is imperative that players have the opportunity to acclimatise, particularly those returning from World Cup duty, in preparation for our first Heineken Cup pool game against Calvisano on 5 December.

"Playing out of one venue will also allow us to capitalise on home advantage. This is primarily a commercial business decision based on maximising income streams.

"Cash generation is critical to the survival of rugby in our region. With the removal of the temporary hospitality stand from Sardis Road and the non-existence of corporate hospitality facilities in other parts of the ground there can be no income generated by using this ground.

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"The Brewery Field has exclusive pre-match function rooms and 20 boxes running the length of the pitch. The income generated from this type of facility is essential to the future of regional rugby.

"Playing out of two grounds has proved to be commercial suicide. We have attempted the exercise, but based on sound financial evidence it is necessary for all further games to be played out of the Brewery Field.

"Support from all areas of the region is greatly appreciated, particularly that of Bridgend and Pontypridd and we hope that will continue.

"Please note that all season tickets will be honoured at the Brewery Field and free buses from Sardis Road will be provided by Shamrock Coaches."

Following Wales' encouraging showing at the World Cup, WRU group chief executive David Moffett has called on the public to get behind the new regional sides and drive the game forward.

The Warriors controversy follows hot on the heels of the latest row in Gwent, though, where Newport are locked in a battle for control of the Dragons with regional partners Ebbw Vale.




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