'Stitch-up of convenience' - Ospreys Chair on ditched merger

Incoming Ospreys chairman Rob Davies derides quashed Scarlets merger.

The sound and fury over the overhaul of Welsh rugby has continued to rage with a statement from the new Ospreys Chairman.

Rob Davies stepped up to the role after Mike James resigned as Chairman in the wake of the WRU's plans to merge the regional side with the Llanelli Scarlets as part of "Project Reset"

The new Chairman last night branded the proposed merger, which has now collapsed, as a "stitch-up of convenience"

In a statement he said he would now be pressing WRU and Professional Rugby Board officials for a clear timetable and actions surrounding Project Reset, as well as reminding them of their duty to comprehensively address options for the future of regional rugby.  

Rob Davies said:

“There are three stark realities.  Firstly, the concept of an Ospreys-Scarlets merger is dead and the clock is ticking.  Secondly, Wales was promised a comprehensive review with nothing off the table, but nothing has yet been put on the table. Thirdly, the PRB cynically left it to the regions to have a shoot-out for survival with the clear direction that a region in the West should go and make room for a fourth in the North.  We are now where we are as a result. 

“It’s hard to look at this situation and not conclude that a stitch-up of convenience has just unravelled before us all.  There isn’t a ‘plan B’, because there was never a ‘plan A’.  Even the PRB has said a western merger was central to their planning, which is frankly mind-boggling.  Wishful thinking is not an acceptable replacement for responsible decision-making. 

“It’s now time for the grown-ups to get back in the room.  It’s time for experienced strategic planning, robust consultation and a methodical process to emerge that is transparent, timely and carries with it the full range of the sport’s stakeholders.  And this is what I will be discussing with Union and PRB officials over the coming days.”


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