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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Davies hails Ospreys name change
Neath-Swansea Ospreys will now be known as the Ospreys
Swansea, Wales and Lions legend Mervyn Davies has welcomed the removal of Neath-Swansea from the Ospreys moniker.

The west Glamorgan team believe the Ospreys brand is established enough to remove the elongated title which should help embrace the rest of the region.

But the decision means that the names of Swansea and Neath RFC are removed from the first-class rugby scene.

"It's a regional side including teams like Aberavon. The other regions in Wales should follow suit," said Davies.

"I've always called them the Ospreys rather than the Neath-Swansea Ospreys.

I can't honestly see Cardiff Blues or Llanelli Scarlets changing their names, and the Newport Gwent Dragons is a bit of a mouthful
Mervyn Davies
"The downside, of course, is that Swansea and Neath are very famous clubs with a long history, and they are now missing from top-flight rugby.

"We will have to see if the Ospreys can stand the test of time and match the achievements of these proud clubs from the past.

"But the Ospreys are moving to their new stadium at Morfa next season and they will be keen to write their own history."

Neath and Swansea will continue to play in the semi-professional Welsh Premier, which also holds Bridgend and Aberavon from the Ospreys region.

Mervyn Davies
Davies is one of the greatest number eights in the game's history
It has been widely acknowledged that the Ospreys have done the most to embrace regional rugby in Wales, although the Welsh Rugby Union has recently praised the efforts being made by the Llanelli Scarlets.

It seems doubtful that the Stradey Park team will drop Llanelli from their epithet, though, or that the Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons will change their names.

"I can't honestly see Cardiff Blues or Llanelli Scarlets changing their names," Davies told BBC Sport Wales.

"And the Newport Gwent Dragons is a bit of a mouthful!

"But what the Ospreys have done is following the American way of doing things and I feel that the other Welsh sides should fall in line."

Interview: Ospreys managing director Roger Blyth



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