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Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 15:30 UK

North Wales rugby plan revealed

Gogledd Cymru

Fledgling region Gogledd Cymru have revealed radical proposals to bolster playing standards in north Wales by recruiting Canadian internationals.

Gogledd Cymru and the Welsh Rugby Union want to import 14 Canucks for January-April 2010, annually reducing that number over the five year initiative.

Rugby Canada and the International Rugby Board must also agree the plan.

WRU north Wales representative Peredur Jenkins says they aim to play 12 games each season from January to April.

A Gogledd Cymru statement read: "These arrangements will offer north Walian players and spectators the opportunity to experience more high quality rugby."

The Gogledd Cymru statement on the region's official website does not include any detail on which competitions the team will play in.

Neither did a WRU statement that followed, although the governing body's long-serving north Wales representative and Gogledd Cymru official Jenkins expects some tough fixtures

Jenkins said: "We aim to provide this team with about a dozen fixtures between January and April. They will play the A teams of the Scottish regional sides, the Irish regional sides.

"They will also hopefully play Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

"We've already established links with Worcester, Sale, Leeds and they are willing to participate in a competition and hopefully the Welsh regions will also provide A games.

"You've got Premiership clubs who are not involved in the Anglo-Irish clubs [competition]. Hopefully we can find a window for them to play us as well.

"I would say that it would be at a standard possibly higher than the Premiership."

WRU rugby, development and performance boss Joe Lydon said: "Bringing young, Canadian squad players to North Wales will enable the north Wales team to be a competitive, semi-professional level side almost immediately.

"It will enable attractive fixtures to take place at Parc Eirias, which will hopefully help to increase the interest and participation levels in rugby in North Wales.

"Our aim throughout this is to raise the standard of rugby players in north Wales for the long term.

"The establishment of an academy in north Wales will help to identify and nurture that talent for the future, while at the same time, they will be exposed to a high standard of competitive rugby.

"There will also be a clear benefit to Canada, a development rugby nation.".


The initiative came a day after WRU development boss Joe Lydon stated there were "no definite" plans for a north Wales team to enter the Principality Premiership.

The Gogledd Cymru website stated that "three radical proposals" were presented to the WRU board by Lydon on Thursday.

If the proposals are approved it would "bring the dream of a Premiership rugby team in North Wales a step closer".

The statement adds: "Gogledd Cymru is recognised as a club - a simple tick in the box of WRU Premiership requirements.

"North Wales will have an academy with the responsibility for the development of north Walians and Welsh-qualified northern exiles."

The statement went on: "By enabling Gogledd Cymru to attract and compete in high quality fixtures it will facilitate the growth of the business and fan base necessary to sustain a semi-professional side."

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see also
Colwyn Bay venue for rugby team
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Gallacher dismisses fifth region
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Moffett mauls fifth region plan
19 Aug 08 |  Welsh
WRU considers north Wales region
15 Aug 08 |  Welsh
WRU axe falls on Warriors
01 Jun 04 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
WRU Challenge Cup archive
12 Jul 06 |  Welsh
Welsh Premiership
11 Apr 07 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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